After a 13-month wait, Cameroon will finally continue their quest to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Women’s football tournament, when they face Chile in the CAF–CONMEBOL intercontinental playoff doubleheader on 10 and 13 April in Antalya, Turkey.
The Indomitable Lionesses missed earning an automatic ticket to Tokyo, after falling to Zambia on away goals, despite a 4-4 aggregate in the final round of CAF qualifying series in March 2020.
Cameroon saw off Ethiopia, DR Congo and Cote d’Ivoire before losing to Zambia, who will have their Olympic Games debut this summer.
After the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the playoff schedule twice, the Lionesses will seek to upstage Chile in Antalya, with the first leg showdown on April 10, and the second three days later in the same venue.
Now, they are bidding to return to the Olympics after their debut in London 2012, having missed Rio 2016, but will need to overcome the 2018 Copa America runners up, who are also in search of their maiden qualification.
Despite their unfortunate loss to the Copper Queens of Zambia, France-based forward Henriette Akaba is determined and optimistic about her side’s chances against La Roja.
“It was unfortunate that we lost to Zambia, but we still have two matches to play against Chile,” Akaba, who made a 25-player squad named by coach Alain Djeumfa, told CAFOnline.com.
“I believe we still have a good chance if everyone gives their best in those two games in Turkey. I think what matters now is for us to go all out to play and win to make it to the Olympics.
“The Olympic Games women’s football tournament is the second biggest competition in the world, and I will be happy to help my country qualify again for the event,” Akaba added.
An aggregate triumph over Chile will see Africa parading two teams in Tokyo, along with Zambia. The finals draw is scheduled on 21 April at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.