Lions ready for samurai onslaught
The nation that thrilled the world with the emerging power of African soccer by reaching the quarterfinals in the 1990 tournament have not been on such great form in recent years. Match 10, Group Csports Updated: Jun 14, 2010 01:58 IST
Cameroon's Indomitable Lions look set to feast on struggling Japan when they meet in their opening World Cup match on Monday.
The nation that thrilled the world with the emerging power of African soccer by reaching the quarterfinals in the 1990 tournament have not been on such great form in recent years.
But spearheaded by striker Samuel Eto’o, they have rediscovered their roar under coach Paul Le Guen and will carry the hopes of many people not just in Cameroon but across the African continent as it hosts its first World Cup.
Japan are putting on a brave face but they have struggled to score goals and look destined to be the supporting cast in Group E, which also features Denmark and Netherlands.
Eto’o will need to put a spat with former Cameroon great Roger Milla behind him when he leads his team out at Free State Stadium here.
Milla questioned the Inter Milan player's commitment to his country, prompting Eto'o to threaten to miss the tournament. But the three-times Africa Player of the Year had a thumbs-up and smile for the crowd when he arrived in Durban on Thursday.
Frenchman Le Guen, who has turned Cameroon around since his appointment in July last year, said the strong and experienced squad was in good fettle despite the Milla/Eto'o row and the failure to win any of their warm-up games.