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Cameroon-Brazil, third chance for the Indomitable Lions

  • Cameroon – Brazil will take place on December 2 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup™

  • Cameroon faced the auriverde twice in the World Cup, in 1994 and in 2014, for two defeats

  • Rigobert Song’s proteges have reason to believe this time around

Rigobert Song’s Cameroon will face Switzerland, Serbia and Brazil in Group G of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. The Indomitable Lions will thus find the Selection for the third time in their history. And they left with their heads down the last two times.

FIFA.com looks back on these setbacks of 1994 and 2014, and assesses Cameroon’s chances of believing in success on December 2, at Qatar 2022.

USA 1994, a disastrous first for Song

Having become the first Africans to appear in the quarter-finals of the World Cup four years earlier in Italy, the Cameroonians face Brazil in confidence after a 2-2 draw against Sweden at USA 1994. ‘Henri Michel, they stand up to the auriverde and are only led by one goal at the break, signed Romário.

But things go wrong when a 17-year-old Rigobert Song receives a direct red card just after the hour mark. The entry into play of Roger Milla who, at 42, will become the oldest scorer in the World his goal against Russia on the last day (6-1 defeat), does not change anything. Márcio Santos doubles the score, then Bebeto drives the point home for a clear 3-0 victory of the Selection.

Cameroon finish last in their group, Brazil first and are on their way to their fourth title.

Brazil 2014, the step is too high against the hosts

This time, Cameroon are already eliminated before facing the Brazilians, hosts of the tournament, on the last day in Brasília after two defeats, 1-0 against Mexico and 4-0 against Croatia. The Cameroonians concede a goal from Neymar in the 17th minute, but Joël Matip equalizes less than 10 minutes later to restore hope to his team. However, the Brazilian machine is well oiled and, in front of their public, Neymar, Fred and Fernandinho also find the net.

Cameroon, again last, left the tournament with a final loss, 4-1, against a team of stars, such as Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Hulk, Marcelo or Paulinho, who however ended his adventure with a painful defeat 7 -1 inflicted by Germany in the semi-finals.

Song: “We recognize the Cameroonian footballer by his determination”

Brazil version 2022 is no less studded with stars, with Vinícius Júnior, Neymar, Fabinho, Marquinhos, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus. But Rigobert Song, who arrived at the head of the selection at the end of February, believes that a confrontation against the Brazilian favorites will galvanize his team.

“It’s a pleasure to face players who have a name, it’s always a motivation”, assures the 45-year-old coach at the microphone of FIFA.com after the Qatar 2022 final draw.

Cameroon’s squad is also made up of players accustomed to European games such as Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Bayern Munich), Karl Toko Ekambi (Olympique Lyonnais), André Onana (Ajax Amsterdam) and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Naples). As many players – except Anguissa, injured – who participated in the suspenseful qualification against Algeria in the African zone play-offs (aggregate score: 2-2, Cameroon qualified on away goals).

“What is most interesting is not the victory, it is the state of mind that I instilled in my players who went beyond their means and who obtained the result at the end of the day. any end”, explains the double winner of the African Cup of Nations as a player (2000, 2002) in reference to the goal scored in the 120th + 4 minute of the play-off return against Algeria which offered the qualification to the Indomitable LionsMarch 29.

“That’s what’s important”, continues the former player of FC Metz, RC Lens and Liverpool who participated in four editions of the World Cup, as much as his compatriots Samuel Eto’o and Jacques Songo’o . “And that’s what we have to develop further because competitions are won with a lot of energy, a lot of commitment and a lot of determination. We’re going to stay on this momentum and we’re even going to try to go further than that because that’s the DNA of Cameroonian football. We recognize the Cameroonian player by his commitment, his determination. We will put that in place to make a difference, “he concludes.

DOHA, QATAR - APRIL 01: Rigobert Song, Head Coach of Cameroon speaks in the Mixed Zone after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final Draw at the Doha Exhibition Center on April 01, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

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