The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon are headed for their second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup (FIFAWWC) finals after their historic maiden appearance back in Canada, 2015.
How They Qualified
Cameroon has always been under the shadows of African giants, Nigeria – at least they have been in the thick of things though not able to be crowned champions ahead of the Super Falcons the Lionesses had some ride to the 2019 FIFAWWC in France.
Paired in Group A alongside hosts Ghana, Cameroon dribbled their way out of a tricky group, leapfrogging group runners-up Mali 2-1 and sweeping aside North Africans Algeria, 3-1 before pulling a parity with host nation Ghana go give them a balance sheet of 7 points and the worthy tag of group leaders. Many argued that, Cameroon finishing first was a curse in disguise giving they had to face their nemesis Nigeria.
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The game against Nigeria like it has always been, ended in favour of the Super Falcons as they won 4-2 on penalties. The third and the last ticket for the Women’s world cup qualification was booked by Cameroon after defeating Mali 4-2 in the third place match.
Cameroon had their first appearance at the 2015 FIFAWWC and were the only African nation to sail through to the knockout rounds after Nigeria and the Ivory Coast all finished bottom of their groups.
Cameroon started her 2015 campaign by beating Ecuador 6-0 with Gaelle Enganamouit netting a hat trick – first by an African player at the FIFAWWC.
Also, the scoreline represents the biggest win margin by an African side at the FIFAWWC.
47-year-old head-coach Alain Djeumfa (L) is heading the technical bench of the Lionesses. He acquired his UEFA license in Hennef, Germany, and showcased his class as the man at the helm in several local club’s in Cameroon like: PWD, Fovu club, New Stars, Aigle Royal and Botafogo FC.
Djeumfa was appointed on 26th January 2019 to take over duties from Joseph Ndoko much to the dismay of football fans who could not understand the change of Ndoko who made back-to-back finals: Cosafa cup challenge and the AWCON 2018.
Coach Djeumfa knows the four corners of the walls – he has been the fitness coach of this team and has also worked with the Military Lionesses most recently in 2018.
This is however the gaffers first test in a major tournament, in charge of the Women’s national team.
Goal-hunter and highest African active goal scorer at the World Cup, Gaelle Deborah Enganamouit is currently fighting for fitness. The 27 year old scored 3 goals in 2015 described as the perfect hat- trick against Ecuador, anywhere near fitness she is a gem!
The new darling of the Women’s game in Cameroon (Michaela Abam), Paris FC striker has gotten off the mark scoring 9 goals in 6 appearances for country. The skilful forward is burned on introducing herself in grand style on the grand stage.
Raissa Feudjio is considered the heartbeat and an absolute machine for the Lionesses. The midfield maestro currently plays club football in Spanish top-tier side, Granadilla FC.
The other two players that should be under the radar are Onguene Gabrielle and Ajara Nchout considered by many as the ‘sisters of speed’. Ajara plays with Valerenga and Onguene with CSKA Moscow; the pair contributed a great deal to their club’s and have both made the right and the left flanks theirs in the national team.
Looking at Africa’s other representatives Cameroon have got the most favourable of draws compared to Nigeria and South Africa.
Going through to the next round in the competition is what is expected of the Lionesses, sailing pass the round of 16’s is the best case scenario giving the preparations and the change of manager the team encountered.
By Angu Lesley – A Sports Journalist from Cameroon with interest in the Women’s Game. He’s followed Women’s football for 10 years and he writes for kick442.com