The head coach of the intermediate lions of Cameroon, Martin Ndtoungou Mpile, is positive that the lions can book a quarter final spot on Wednesday.
The intermediate lions will play the local Eagles of Mali in the first round two game in group A of the CHAN. With both teams having three points each, victory for either side, will secure them a play in the knockout phase of the competition.
“After the first game, we gained back a good team spirit. When you start with a victory, you objectives become more clearer. That is qualification from the second game because the opportunity is available. We have three points and we can qualify during the second day of play. So all the players have that in mind and they are available mentally and physically”, Ndtoungou Mpile told reporters during his pre_match presser.
“We will play for qualification tomorrow, so that in the third game will should be very calm and serene”, the tactician added.
FINDING SOLUTIONS TO ATTACKING WOE
The intermediate lions have scored just three goals in their last six games, with two of three coming from a defender (Banga Bindjeme). Jacques Zoua and co squandered a litany of scoring opportunities against Zimbabwe and Ndtoungou Mpile admitted after the game that he was concerned about his attackers inability to score. Now the gaffer says the problem is half solved.
“The most difficult thing is to carry the ball in front of goal, but we are already doing that. So I think the problem is half solved, but now we have to repeat those actions in front of goal, and the players will be used to scoring”.
MALI A THREAT?
coach Nouhoum Diane’s Eagles showed great character against Burkina Faso in their fast game. Many pundits tip Wednesday’s game to produce a lot of fireworks.
Ndtoungou Mpile is aware of what Mali can offer.
“Mali has a good team. Collectively their playing style is interesting and they have individuals who can be decisive. It is on us now to find solutions to contain them.”
A couple of players in Martin Ndtoungou Mpile’s starting XI last Saturday failed to live up to expectations. Many are still to see if Mpile and his staff will prefer some fresh legs against Mali. But the tactician is not ruling out that option.
“It is possible to have the same starting XI, and it is also possible to have some changes. Even if we change, we are not changing the whole team, but I think the group stays solid”, Mpile opined.
JACQUES ZOUA THE PLAYERS VOICE
Captain Jacques Zoua Daogari accompanied Coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile to the press conference. His confidence while responding to questions from the press, transmitted a picture of the atmosphere in the lions den.
“We have a very good ambiance in the team. We regain much confidence after the first game and I think we will give our all like in the first game”, Jacques Zoua said.
Asked if it is possible to end his goal drought against Mali, Zoua responded;
“personal I think the most important is to help the team win, because a competition can not be won alone. So if it is to carry the team me alone and thinking of winning the competition, it is not possible. I try to bring what I can bring and I will continue to try and give my best. If it is for someone else to score and we win, it is not bad. The most important thing is to come out winners at the end”.
The intermediate lions host Mali on Wednesday as from 5pm, before Zimbabwe clashes with Burkina Faso in the other group A game as from 8pm.