Cameroon will face a test from tournament debutants Gambia when the teams meet in a Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal, set for the Japoma Stadium in Douala on the evening of Saturday 29 January 2022. Kick-off is at 6pm CAT.
Cameroon booked their place in the final eight with a 2-1 win over another AFCON rookie, Comoros, on Monday night. It was not the most convincing performance from the Indomitable Lions – against an opponent which was so badly hit by Covid-19 absences that they played an outfield player as goalkeeper – but goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar got the job done.
However, coach Toni Conceicao was not pleased with the showing and will demand an improvement for the quarterfinal.“We are not satisfied, because we encountered a lot of difficulties [against Comoros], it was a very unstable match, even if we had good moments,” said the Cameroon coach.
“We could have taken another goal. I have already spoken with the players about this match, the most important thing is that everyone calms down, emotionally.
“In 4-4-2, we run a lot of risks, we are exposed to the counters. We opted for the offensive, we create chances in every game, but there are other problems that we have to solve, we have to learn from this game.”
Gambia, meanwhile, are flying high and full of confidence, with a place in the last eight already representing a great achievement on tournament debut. The Scorpions secured their quarterfinal spot with a 1-0 win over Guinea on Monday, with Musa Barrow scoring the only goal of the clash in Bafoussam.
Coach Tom Saintfiet then revealed that his team achieved the victory despite some crippling issues in the build-up.“We didn’t have a good feeling about [the match with Guinea] because many of us had food poisoning, including me. I didn’t sleep, was up at the toilet all the time, vomiting and with diarrhea,” explained Saintfiet.
“They are my heroes. It’s a real team, they’re not individuals but a team which plays together, with a dream, with a strategy, and each player is very disciplined and does everything to achieve this.”
In head-to-head stats, Cameroon and Gambia have met in two previous matches – both in the qualification tournament for the 2017 AFCON – with the Indomitable Lions winning 1-0 in Bakau in September 2015 (thanks to a goal from Aboubakar) and 2-0 in Yaounde a year later (thanks to strikes from Benjamin Moukando and Toko Ekambi