Fifa World Cup: The Lion is hungry now, Cameroon fans warn Brazil

Supporters were so inspired when the team rallied from 3-1 down to hold Serbia 3-3 that they started cheering, making the loudest noise in the 40,000-capacity stadium



Sally Jenkins and Samuel Jenkins have travelled from North Carolina, USA, for Cameroon’s World Cup matches in Qatar. Photo: Rituraj Borkakoty
Sally Jenkins and Samuel Jenkins have travelled from North Carolina, USA, for Cameroon’s World Cup matches in Qatar. Photo: Rituraj Borkakoty

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2022, 8:01 PM

During an engrossing Group G World Cup battle between Cameroon and Serbia on Monday, it seemed Rigobert Song was not the only man coaching the Indomitable Lions from Africa.

There were at least 10 more men shouting instructions from the media box at the Al Janoub Stadium as Cameroon launched attacks after attacks after falling 3-1 behind to Serbia early in the second half.

“Come on, get the ball,” one reporter jumped and gesticulated, urging the team to regain possession after one of their players lost the ball.

Despite taking the lead through Castelletto in the first half against the run of play, Cameroon were stunned by the resilient Serbians who showed great character and some great skills too to score three goals in the space of eight minutes.

Up until Serbia scored the third goal, the Cameroonian contingent in the press tribune looked normal like any normal reporters.

But when Aleksandar Mitrovic scored Serbia’s third goal from a delightful move, the Cameroonian media team could no longer keep their calm.

They waved at their players to press hard and demanded cards from the referee for the Serbs for every tackle on their players.

It’s not clear if anyone on the field, including the referees, heard the noise coming from the media tribune.

But the Cameroonian supporters sitting next to the media tribune certainly got inspired as they started making the loudest noise in the 40,000-capacity stadium.

Remarkably, Cameroon soon got the second goal through Aboubakar before Choupo-Moting found the equaliser three minutes later.

Buoyed by those two goals, Cameroon pushed the Serbs to the brink with the sheer force of their game as the Europeans failed to match the Africans’ flair and energy.

Their supporters kept on shouting their approval at every move, but the winning goal never came.

The 3-3 draw in what was arguably the most entertaining match of the tournament kept both teams’ round of 16 hopes alive

But the stirring fightback against a strong Serbian team will now inspire Cameroon to produce their best football against Brazil in their final group game.

“We don’t care now who we are facing in the next game. We are ready for anybody,” said Cameroonian fan Sally Jenkins who made some of the loudest noises in the game, constantly urging the players to attack the Serbian goal.

Sally has travelled from North Carolina, USA, with her husband Samuel Jenkins for Cameroon’s World Cup matches in Qatar.

Samuel, her husband, even fired some warning shots at Brazil on behalf of his beloved team.

“When the lion is hungry, it can eat anything. And we are very hungry now,” he said.

Samuel, who has been living in the US for 25 years, then revealed why the Cameroonians are so passionate about football.

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“It’s the biggest sport in Cameroon. It unites the country. When there is football, we put all our differences aside,” he said.

“It’s the uniting factor in Cameroon. Irrespective of your social status, your ethnic background, your political affiliation and your religious beliefs, once football starts in Cameroon, we are all one.”

Cameroon will certainly need a team spirit of epic proportions when they face Brazil on December 2, hoping to qualify for the knockout rounds for the first time since their dream run to the quarterfinals in the 1990 World Cup.


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