Ndtoungou still confident
2 August 2011
Cameroonian U20 coach, Martin Ndtoungou, is confident his side can still qualify for the next round of the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup ahead of their second Group B match against Portugal in Colombia on Tuesday.
The match is scheduled to take place at the Estadio Pascual Guerrero in Cali, kick-off 20h00 local time.
Following his side’s disappointing 1-1 draw against New Zealand in their first group match Ndtoungou was quick to respond stating his side could still qualify for the next stage of the competition.
“Luck wasn’t on our side against New Zealand and their keeper played really well too. But I still feel we can qualify for the next round. We’ve got a strong squad but we need to iron out a few flaws and we are confident going into the match against Portugal,” said the coach.
Looking at Cameroons first game in the competition not many would say luck was against them. Rather their finishing was poor and despite dominating the majority of play an own-goal from Serge Tchaha cost the Africans after Christ Mbondi gave them an early lead.
Now, in an evenly contested Group B with all four teams locked on a point a piece after drawing their opening matches, Cameroon have to get a win over Portugal or Uruguay to put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages.
For Portugal, they also played to a draw, all be it a goalless one, in their opening World Cup encounter against Uruguay. However, unlike Cameroon they will not be too disheartened by the result against arguably the toughest opponent in the group.
The Portuguese side will also take some big positives away from their opening game where they created a number of clear-cut goal scoring chances in the second half and according to their coach, Ilidio Vale, can count themselves unlucky not to have scored.
“The two sides showed each other a lot of respect in our first game, but we deserved to win because we played very intelligently in the second half. Now that the opening game’s over with, I think our players will relax a bit. We’ve got a very well-balanced squad and are ready for Cameroon,” said Vale.
Against Cameroon, though, they will have to take their chances in front of goal and will be relying heavily on their gifted striker Nelson Oliveira to do the finishing. Nonetheless, we are certainly in for an exciting game as both teams will be chasing victory