BAKU (Azerbaijan), May 19 — Cameroon will have to “swallow” their disappointment and will take their bronze-medal match at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku “like a final”, promised coach Emmanuel Maboang Kessack.
Oman edged out the Indomitable Lions 5-3 on penalties after a 0-0 stalemate to face hosts Azerbaijan in the final of the football tournament, leaving Cameroon with only a bronze-medal playoff against Algeria to save face.
“This defeat is difficult to swallow. We had the chances, we had the ball but we couldn’t score. It’s frustrating,” explained coach Maboang Kessack after the game.
“We are disappointed as we really wanted to win for Cameroon. But we are still a young team and we have one more game to go.” Central defender Olivier Mbaïzo confessed to “being really hurt” after this defeat, but promised “to give all against Algeria to claim bronze”, in a game that “will be treated like a final”.
In Sunday’s third-place playoff, Cameroon face Algeria, who were no match for hosts Azerbaijan (2-0) in their semi-final.
“Some of our players are tired, some others have been booked, so we’ll probably have to change a few things in the squad, especially up front. We lack a cold-blooded killer: we had chances and we even finished with five strikers and yet we couldn’t score,” admitted Maboang Kessack. — AFP