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World Cup

Cameroon beaten by Uzbekistan in pre-World Cup friendly to hand Rigobert Song reality check

6:07 AM EDT 9/23/22
Rigobert Song - Cameroon coach
The Indomitable Lions were dominated by the side ranked 39 places below them and will need to improve quickly before heading to Qatar.
  • Uzbekistan started strongly and were rewarded with a win
  • Cameroon looked ill-prepared just two months to the World Cup
  • The result leaves Rigobert Song under pressure to impress

WHAT HAPPENED? Cameroon’s World Cup preparations received a reality check when the Indomitable Lions suffered a 2-0 loss to Uzbekistan in a friendly match in South Korea’s northern city of Goyang on Friday.

It was a demoralising result for Rigobert Song’s team who are ranked 39 places above Uzbekistan, who appeared more prepared than their more-fancied rivals.

Song fielded a strong lineup starting with Inter Milan’s Andre Onana in goal while opting for a back three of Jean-Charles Castelletto, Nicolas N'Koulou and Enzo Ebosse while Collins Fai and Nouhou Tolo played as wingbacks.

Georges Mandjeck partnered Olivier Ntcham in midfield while Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo made his Cameroon debut, following his change of nationalities last month, starting upfront alongside Nicolas Ngamaleu and captain Vincent Aboubakar.

However, that did not worry Uzbekistan who took the lead after 24 minutes through Oybek Bozorov before Oston Urunov made it 2-0, 14 minutes from time.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cameroon have now failed to convince in two straight matches, following their lacklustre 1-0 win over Burundi in June’s 2023 Afcon qualifier when Facafoot boss Samuel Eto’o read the riot act to the players for taking their positions in the team for granted.

ALL EYES ON: More questions will be asked about Song’s suitability for the job given he has not impressed in the two matches he has overseen with the World Cup just two months away.

THE VERDICT: The Indomitable Lions do not look ready for the World Cup as their slow start and sloppiness in possession suggested and will have to improve quickly if they want to have a chance in Qatar where they face Switzerland, Serbia and Brazil in their group.

WHAT NEXT FOR CAMEROON? Cameroon will face South Korea in another friendly match on Tuesday where they will be hoping for a better result against the side ranked 10 places above them.