The Cameroon team arrives for training during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals. Photo: BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Cameroon face an uphill task of defending their Africa Cup of Nations crown.

The Indomitable Lions were crowned champions two years ago in Gabon and successfully qualified for this year’s edition in Egypt. Cameroon are in Group F along with Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Benin.

The defending champions will open their account against Guinea-Bissau tonight at Ismailia Stadium.

Only three countries have managed to successfully defend their Afcon title in the past. Ironically, Cameroon is one of those teams.

The Cameroon team during training at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals. Photo: BackpagePix
The Cameroon team during training at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals. Photo: BackpagePix

Their golden generation won it back to back in 2000 and 2002. The likes of Samuel Eto’o, Geremi and Patrick Mboma were in red hot form. They were on a roll and unstoppable.

Egypt are the other side who have managed to defend their crown. They won the maiden Afcon back in 1957 in Sudan and defended their title on home soil in 1959.

Ghana also won it back to back in 1963 and 1965. The last nation to defend their Afcon crown was Egypt. They won it three times in a row in 2006, 2008 and 2010. The likes of Zambia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast have all failed to retain their titles. That’s why it will be difficult for the Indomitable Lions to do what they did in Gabon.

Cameroon’s preparations for Afcon have been hampered by their bonus saga. As results they arrived in Egypt two days before their first game. It remains to be seen whether that will affect them or not.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana is expected to play a pivotal role for Cameroon. Photo: EPA

Andre Onana is expected to play a pivotal role at the back with his experience. The Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper is one of the best and on his day, he is difficult to beat between the sticks.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will lead the frontline as Cameroon commence their journey of defending their crown.

IOL Sport