Previewing Cameroon WNT
FIFA Ranking: 50 (as of July, 2012)
CAF Ranking: 2nd
Coach: Enow Nagatchu
Number of Olympics Appearances: This will be Cameroon’s first time participating in women’s soccer at an Olympics.
Group: E (Great Britain, New Zealand and Brazil)
First match: Against Brazil on 7/25
Road to qualifying: Cameroon had some interesting results in their quest to qualifying for the Olympics. The Indomitable Lionesses were basically eliminated in the second round after losing 2-0 by aggregate to Equatorial Guinea. However, Cameroon was reinstated after it was determined that Equatorial Guinea played with an ineligible player.
Cameroon took advantage of their second chance and stunned a powerful Nigerian team (ranked 28th in the world) in a penalty shoot-out to qualify for their first ever Olympics.
Key players: Cameroon top player is forward Madeleine Ngono, who current plays in France for En Avant de Guingamp. Other players to watch include: Annette Flore Ngo Ndom (goalkeeper), Françoise Josephine Bella (midfielder), Patience Christine Manie (defender) and Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (midfielder).
Prediction: While the recent success of the women’s team has sparked a resurgence of women’s football in Cameroon, the Indomitable Lionesses are in a very difficult group and the likelihood of them advanced past the group stage is very low. The team only scored 9 goals in qualifying and will likely have difficulty finding the back of the net against a group where all the teams are ranked much higher. Cameroon is an up-and-coming team and a good showing at the Games would help keep the women’s game growing back home. Unfortunately though, I believe they will be going back to Cameroon after the conclusion of the group stage.