By El-Amisty Nobo| Follow Amisty on twitter @ElAmistyNobo
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon began their FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 journey with a disappointing 0-2 defeat against Chile on Sunday at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow before an unprecedented 33,492 spectators.
The African champions [Cameroon] kicked the game off in a nervous fashion, allowing the South American champions [Chile] to pile pressure from all angles.
Young but agile goalie, Fabrice Ondoa had to be at his best to save Cameroon from an early upset as he pulled three spectacular dives to deny Chile’s attacking trio; Eduardo Vargas, Jose Fuenzadila and Edson Puch from scoring.
On the reverse angle, Michael Ngadeu’s 17th minute goal for Cameroon was disallowed. The Indomitable Lions defender rose above the entire Chile defenders to head Moukandjo’s free kick into the net, but replays suggested that Vincent Aboubakar pulled Arturo Vidal’s jersey to give his teammate an undue advantage.
The first half ended in a controversial manner as the Video Assistant Refereeing [VAR] system forced referee Skomina Damir to rescind on his earlier decision on Eduardo Vargas goal.
Arturo Vidal laid a vicious left footed pass in the way of the tormenting Vargas who had ghosted past his marker into the eighteen yard box to slot the ball beyond the helpless Ondoa in post for Cameroon but replays by the VAR system revealed that the La Roja attacker was marginally offside.
Cameroon came into the picture from the break except that they failed to threaten goalkeeper Herrera in post for Chile throughout the game.
The introduction of Alexis Sanchez in the 56th minute did not have an instant impact for the La Roja’s but it was just a matter of time to feel the presence the Arsenal attacker as he curled a pass for Arturo Vidal in the 81st minute to head Chile into the lead.
Eduardo Vargas extended the lead for Chile in stoppage time from Alexis Sanchez’s blocked effort. The linesman ruled it offside but after consultation with the Video Assistant Refereeing system, referee Skomina ruled the goal as legitimate.
Meanwhile, Cameroon coach Hugo Broos thought his side gave too much respect to Chile in the early minutes of the game.
“I think we were too tentative early on,” he said.
“We were a bit fearful because we knew we were up against a good team. The lads reacted well at half-time and Chile didn’t threaten much thereafter, but they scored from their first chance [of the second period]. I’m disappointed with the result, but pleased with the performance,” he added.