By Boris Esono Nwenfor
An overhead kick from Coton sport of Garoua’s Banga Solomon was enough for the Intermediate Lions to win the Warriors of Zimbabwe in the opening game of the Africa Nations Championship, CHAN.
The goal from Banga Solomon which turned out to be the winning goal came in the 72 minutes of play through a freekick on the edge of the Zimbabweans goal. A missed header from the Warriors saw the ball come to Banga who produced a spectacular overhead kick to score.
The team were made to work hard for that victory with little scoring chances created by the intermediate lions. Captain Jacques Zoua has a series of these chances but could not deliver. The player was substituted at the 80 minutes with many looking at him to be the scorer should Cameroon need goals.
The intermediate Lions had been under pressure to deliver as many had questioned the selection of the final 23 man squad released by Coach Martin Mpile. A squad of 23 players were called up with 10 on the waiting list.
There was a beautiful display from Martin Loic Ako Assomo for the intermediate Lions. His beautiful display during the game saw him picking up the man of the match award.
Goalkeeper Haschou Kerido of PWD Bamenda showed his class in the game. He was calm and collected in the face of opposition, coming out of his box to catch the ball – a display that will surely raise confidence in him and his backline. The backline of the intermediate lions was manned by players from Coton Sport.
It should be noted that Cameroon is in Group A alongside Zimbabwe, Mali and Burkina Faso. In the second game played, it was Mali that defeated Burkina Faso by 1-0. The goal for the Malians was scored by Bagayoko at the 70th minute.
The Intermediate Lions of Cameroon will next be in action on January 20 at 5 pm local time against Mali. It is a crucial game as both teams are tied on 3 points. A victory by the intermediate lions or Mali guarantees them a spot in the next round of the competition.