Rigobert Song Explains Non-Selection Of Onana In Cameroon’s AFCON Opener

Onana entered camp as soon as he landed in the Ivory Coast early on Monday, but he was left off of the squad that played Guinea.

Femi Onasanya By Femi Onasanya - Sports Reporter
4 Min Read

The Indomitable Lions began their Africa Cup of Nations journey by only earning one point against a team that had one less player in the second half.

Cameroon was their own worst enemy, as they couldn’t take advantage of the numerical superiority, resulting in a 1-1 draw with Guinea in their Group C opening match.

Onana entered camp as soon as he landed in the Ivory Coast early on Monday, but he was left off of the squad that played Guinea.

“No, Andre [Onana], we all know that [he wouldn’t play],” said Song on beIN Sports.

“We need to stick to our logic. He arrived at 4 a.m.; how do you expect him to play at 5 p.m.? He is part of the group.

“So he is part of the squad. There is the rest of the competition, and I’m sticking with my full squad.”

After a sluggish start to the game, Cameroon lost as early as the tenth minute and had to fight their way back in the second half.

“The start of the match was difficult for us, especially in the first 30 minutes,” Song told CAFOnline.

“You know how it has been at the start of this tournament. It has always been difficult. We saw how some teams started this tournament.”

Francois Kamano, Guinea’s captain, was sent off during stoppage time in the first half, leaving his team down a player.

But even after taking command of the game, the Indomitable Lions found it difficult to make a profit.

“We controlled the flow of the match, but we were not able to score the second goal of the match to take the victory, I hope to do it in the next match,” said Song.

Senegal, the defending champions, is waiting for Cameroon. Song believes they will make up for their shortcomings against the Lions of Teranga when they play on Friday.

“We all saw the match; there is a positive part,” added Song.

“We will correct the mistakes, and in the next four days, the players will know their mission. For my part, I will work with my assistants on the technical team to correct the problems we encountered.”

Diawara believes they would have held onto their lead if they hadn’t been outnumbered.

“This red card changes our plans,” said Diawara, as per Guinee News.

“We had prepared our case well, but playing 10 against 11 with the game we are presenting is very complicated. We were missing an attacker at the end, so we fell back.

“When you place your block 10 meters lower, and with the qualities of this Cameroon, it is very complicated. Especially since we started defending with 10 men in the first half. Physically, it was very complicated. So this point is welcome.”

“Naby, it was planned for him to come back,” Diawara added.

“We had a plan, a match scenario, which was completely turned upside down [by Kamano’s red card]. That’s the only reason he [Keita] didn’t come in.

“So we talked together because when we have a player like him, we take the information and talk to each other.

“We were already at 10, and in a match like this, we cannot ask him to defend when that is not his quality. We therefore decided to leave him on the bench.”

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By Femi Onasanya Sports Reporter
Femi is a sport enthusiast, writer and commentator. Passionate about Sports and physical therapy with a flair for writing.