New Delhi, Aug 26: Cameroon set the Nehru Cup football tournament alight by drubbing Nepal 5-0 at the Jawaharlal Stadium here Sunday.
Midfielder Ebanga Bertin orchestrated a comprehensive win for “The Indomitable Lions”, scoring a brace in the 41st and the 66th minutes. Striker Kologny Vigny Merime too netted twice in the 13th and 61st minutes before Momaso Joseph scored the fifth in the 77th.
With the rain gods staying away, the underfoot conditions were much better than the last time Cameroon played, a 2-2 draw against Syria. This helped their passing game to flourish with most of the match being played inside the Nepal half.
Whenever the Cameroonians attacked, they did with great speed and fervour.
Makon Thierry, Bertin and Kingue Mpondo bossed the midfield and combined superbly with each other. Their quick one-touch passing and incisive through balls had the Nepalese in a knot.
Ngome Lawrence, Cameroon goalkeeper barely had a touch in the game with Nepal not having a single shot on target.
A small yet boisterous Nepalese expat crowd left disappointed thanks to an uninspiring performance by their team.
Nepal looked flat on their feet and were completely out-muscled by a bigger and stronger opponent.
Two goalkeeping mistakes by Riteesh Thapa didn’t help the Nepalese cause.
A hapless Nepal coach Krishna Thapa said that his team was no match for the Africans and were outplayed in all departments.
“Cameroon were just too strong. There was just no competition between the two teams. They were much better than us,” said Thapa.
“They outplayed us in all departments of the game. Our preparation of ten days was just not enough.”
Cameroon coach Emmanuel Bosso was a much happier man, saying that his team stuck to the plan and his tactics paid full dividends.
“I’m very happy with my players, they followed the plan well. Our strategy was to freshen up the side in the second half,” said Bosso.
“We substituted our tired players and that made it much easier for us. The competition has got better as the tournament has progressed.”
Cameroon made a frenetic start, camping infront of the Nepalese goal.
Merime scored the opener thanks to a mistake by Nepal keeper Thapa, who palmed Makon Thierry’s cross from the right straight into the path of the striker.
Bertin netted in the second before the break. Thapa’s weak goal-kick fell to Makon, who played a through-ball to Ashu Tambe on the right. Tambe coolly play squared the ball to Bertin, who finished the move.
Merime scored his second of the night with another tap in while Thapa spilled Bertin’s scuffed shot.
Bikesh Kuthu came on for a injured Thapa and the goalkeeper’s first job was to pick the ball from the back of his own net.
The win takes Cameroon to second spot in the table, two points behind India, who have six. Nepal are yet to open their account and are virtually out of the tournament.