What you need to know:
- The Indomitable Lions will face Russia and Senegal in two separate friendlies later this month
- The Russia game will be the first with Cameroon since 2011 and makes the visitors the first African opponents since the start of the war
- Coach Rigobert Song will include new players in Cameroon’s squad for next month’s international friendlies
- Cameroon is running after a first win against Russia that beat them at the 1990 & 1994 FIFA World Cup tournaments
- Song says he expects his team exact revenge
Indomitable Lions of Cameroon head coach, Rigobert Song has revealed his team is in Moscow to ensure they achieve a better performance than the 6-1 drubbing during the 1994 FIFA World Cup meeting.
A suspended Song watched from the bench as his country suffered the humiliating defeat to Russia on the night Salenko was simply unplayable – scoring five goals in the 1-6 defeat.
Reflecting about that evening this afternoon in the pre-match conference in Moscow Song reiterating the result was hurting and this new team will like to have a say about that day.
“The Cameroon team is still one of the best on the continent. We will to try to do better than last time. Generations have changed. It’ll be a different game tomorrow. These days, Russia plays well. We will see what happens.”
Song will be without injured Eric Maxim Choupo Moting of Bayern Munich and Napoli’s Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa after both men pulled out from the squad.
There have been varied speculations about the absence of the likes of Zambo Anguissa and Choupo Moting, Song threw light during the pre-match presser.
“Absentees for political reasons!!? Not at all. Zambo Anguissa plays almost all the time. He just had a little problem, it’s not that serious. Choupo Moting had a little problem. If you saw his last game, he only played 3 or 5 minutes. I prefer to have them at the right time, in January.”
The game will provide an opportunity for Russia to give their national team players game time, though they are currently suspended.
Cameroon on their part will use the game as preparations for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), having secured qualification for the tournament following their 3-0 against Burundi last month.
The game in Moscow will be Cameroon’s first of two within that period, after which Song’s team will face reigning African champions – Senegal four days later in Lens.
Coach Song will use both high-profile matches to give game time to some of the players he is expected to pick to beef-up the current Cameroon squad been assembled for the AFCON in Côte D’Ivoire in January and February next year.
Cameroon Vs Russia head-to-head
Thursday’s meeting between Russia and Cameroon in Moscow will be the first between both nations in 12 years.
Both nations first traded know-how during the group stage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Back then in Italy, Soviet Union as they were known put Cameroon through the sword with a 4-0 drubbing that served as a wake up call to the Roger Milla-inspired indomitable Lions team that went on to shock bookmakers by becoming the first African Nation to reach the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup.
Coach Song will be hoping to inspire his country to a first win against the 2018 FIFA World Cup host -Russia and also guide his team to achieve a positive result against Senegal during this window.
The team trained on Wednesday evening and had a successful other pre-match activities ahead of Thursday’s game.
The game will kick-off at 5PM Cameroon time.
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