Sunday, June 20, 2010

Indomitable Lions Exits South Africa After Loss To Denmark

Samuel Eto'o was restored to his customary centreforward position. Imposing midfielder, Alex Song was back in the Lions' midfield. Geremi as well was reinstated into the starting lineup. Paul Le Guen acquiesced to player pressure and went back to a more comfortable lineup.

Cameroon were rewarded when Poulsen's defensive error allowed Eto'o to open his account in South Africa. At that point it looked as if the Lions were on their way to victory as they were the team most likely to score. But Dennis Rommedahl had other ideas. The Ajax winger had the better of Benoit Assou-Ekoto all match and was clearly the best player on the field yesterday.

Thanks to Rommedahl, Denmark were level by the stroke of halftime when he supplied a precise low cross for Bendtner to sweep home. This followed a fantastic cross field pass from Simon Kjaer. Cameroon continued to show more desire to get the win, and that desire led them open to counter attacks from the Olsen-Banden.

In one such break-away attack, Bendtner slipped a pass through to the flying Rommedahl who cut inside and curled a left footer past Souleymanou Hamidou. Denmark lived on borrowed time later on as the Lions pressed forward again and again only to be denied by Sorensen and the goal posts.

A better performance from Paul Le Guen's side but it probably came one match late. Le Guen must take the blame for confusing the players with his selection for the Japan opening match. 

Credit to the 3-time Ligue 1 winner though as he took full responsibility of Cameroon's failure to qualify.
"What I think what we lacked was efficiency in front of goal. We had an enormous amount of very clear chances and we failed to put them away. We were clumsy with our finishing, but I feel that we gave everything we could tonight. We did what we could on the pitch. I have regrets after these two matches and that's understandable given the quality of the match we played tonight. Honestly, we came very close and we just didn't make it. We can have legitimate regrets but I take responsibility for everything."
So one Lion gone, will the Three Lions suffer the same result on Wednesday next week? England will try "mind control" to overcome the fear of failure and the in-form Slovenia.

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