The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are no strangers to the World Cup, qualifying for six of the last seven, including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. However, success has been hard to come by, as they have not made it out of the Group Stage since their miraculous run to the quarterfinals in 1990. The 2010 World Cup was particularly troubling, with the Lions losing all three of their matches. But the 2014 World Cup is another opportunity for Cameroon to make a splash on the world stage.
As a part of Group A, Cameroon will have its eyes set on second place, as Brazil is expected to run away with first place, leaving the Lions to compete against Croatia and Mexico for a spot in the Knockout Stage. The leader of the Cameroon team remains the ageless Samuel Eto’o, who is likely playing in his last World Cup. If Cameroon can create some scoring chances, Eto’o will give them a chance to score goals, but the key to success in the World Cup will be the play of midfielders Alex Song and Jean Makoun, who must be able to control games in the midfield for Cameroon to have a chance to survive the Group Stage.
The opening match against Mexico will be the most important. If Cameroon can get three points there, they put themselves in a good position to advance. However, anything less in that match will give them an uphill climb that will be too much for them. The Indomitable Lions will compete and perform better than many expect, but in the end, they don’t have the balance or depth to make it out of the group, although they won’t lose all three matches the way they did four years ago.
Group Stage Match One: Cameroon vs. Mexico – Friday, June 13, 12 p.m. EST on ESPN 2
Group Stage Match Two: Cameroon vs. Croatia – Wednesday, June 18, 6 p.m. EST on ESPN
Group Stage Match Three: Cameroon vs. Brazil – Monday, June 23, 4 p.m. EST on ESPN 2
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.