Cameroon 0-0 Benin: 3 Reasons why the Indomitable Lions failed to win the game | African Cup of Nations 2019
Cameroon went into this evening's game with every intention to finish on top of their group. Alas, that was not to be as they failed to score in a stalemate draw against the Squirrels of Benin in the African Cup Of Nations.
In the other Group F game, Ghana scored two goals against Guinea Bissau to ensure top spot in the group.
Notably, Benin held posession for only 10 minutes in the entire game. While they had opportunities in the final third, they were clearly content with holding down the fort and hoping for a draw.
They held on for that single point and it's been worth it. The Squirrels enter the round of 16 as one of the best third-placed teams. While they are not expected to go much farther, their resilience in defence may just keep them going.
The game started on a fast-paced note with Benin forcing Cameroon into a defensive stance. However, things took a turn, for the rest of the match, once Cameroon found their rhythm by the fifth minute.
The Indomitable Lions ran the show in the midfield, who had explosive wingers to feed the ball.
Benin had some chances to rush into the final third and push for goal, but that happened rarely in comparison to Cameroon.
They had good chances from a couple of set-pieces, but nothing changed the game.
Going into half-time, the Indomitable Lions had all the possession, high passing accuracy, all the shots, but not a single goal.
Allagbe, Benin's goalkeeper, was playing his first match in this AFCON and he certainly repaid the manager's faith in picking him. His presence between the posts ensured that Cameroon had nothing to celebrate by half-time.
Benin had a few more notable chances in the second half but nothing came to fruition. Much of the play remained with the Lions and there was little else the Squirrels could do than defend their goal.
Allagbe was confident between the sticks, but luckily for Benin, many of Cameroon's shots were rather wayward.
The game ended with yet another stalemate in the group but much reason to celebrate for the Squirrels who had, by a whisker, entered the knockout stages.
Clarence Seedorf and his Cameroonian side will rue those missed chances and have a lot of things to look into.
However, the Indomitable Lions can draw confidence from their accurate passes and strong midfield peformance.
We take a look at three reasons why Cameroon failed to beat a lesser team in Benin.
#3 Cameroon couldn't take advantage of set-pieces
Fouls are very important in football, especially for the underdog team. Benin got their fair share of fouls, totalling thirteen, and that gave Cameroon a number of opportunities from set-pieces.
However, the Indomitable Lions failed to make good use of those chances. Oyongo missed a shot from a freekick early on in the game.
Kunde Malong put a very dreadful shot well over the bar in another freekick, this time in the second half. In another set-piece opportunity, Malong lifted the ball towards offside runners.