Rigobert Song under pressure: Qualification for next AFCON in Côte d’Ivoire now uncertain
Qualification for the next Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire is now uncertain for the Indomitable Lions.
The lions were held to a 1-1 all draw last week in Yaoundé by a compact Namibian side that successfully won the return leg staged in the Dobsonville Stadium in the suburbs of Johannesburg in South Africa today.
Namibia opened the scoring in the 54th minute through Peter Shaluille, who scored in the first leg in Yaoundé.
The Indomitable Lions, who were playing in a 4-2-4 formation, were unable to react and in the 78th minute, Jean-Charles Castelleto committed a foul 30 meters from his goal which proved fatal as the score was increased by Namibia from a free kick executed by Absalom Limbondi.
Leading 2-0 with 10 minutes to go, the Indomitable Lions, despite the substitutions made by a frustrated Rigobert Song, continued to be confused and without ideas in their game. Vincent Aboubakar pulled one back in the 91st minute following a long ball in the Namibian area from Jean-Charles Castelleto but that proved insufficient to avoid defeat. Rigobert Song’s record since taking over as manager on 28 February 2022 is now 3 wins, 4 draws and 5 defeats.
The Indomitable Lions, who have one more elimination match to play in September against Burundi, are now 2nd in their group of 3 teams with 4 points while Namibia has 5. Only one country will qualify from this group for the 30th Africa Cup of Nations scheduled from 13 January to 11 February 2024 in Côte d’Ivoire.
Cameroon, 5 times African champion (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002 and 2017) and 20 participations in the AFCON, has not missed any final phase of this major tournament since the 2013 edition in South Africa and 2012 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
By Staff Lady Nelly Epupa with files from Rita Akana