Wasteful Cameroon Held By Korea

South Korea 1-1 Cameroon

Despite their dominance in the match, Cameroon were held to a 1-1 draw by South Korea at Qinhuangdao Olympic Stadium on Thursday evening.

Eight years ago, Cameroon emerged victorious at Sydney, making history as they delivered a second gold medal to Africa, with Nigeria having clinched the first during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

But this time round, the Lion Cubs will have an uphill task in the Far East, as they managed only to draw 1-1 with South Korea in their opening Group D match, despite dominating much of the proceedings.

After a goalless first-half, striker Park Chu-young fired South Korea ahead with his powerful free-kick on 68 minutes. Cameroon however, drew level through substitute Georges Mandjeck in the 81st minute.

First Half

Cameroon brought along with them a team comprising mainly of their Europe-based players and members of the Africa Cup of Nations, where the senior side finished runners-up.

But coach Martin Ndtoungou opted to leave established names such as Portsmouth’s Franck Songo’o and Arsenal’s Alexandre Song on the bench. However, the likes of Paris St-Germain striker Albert Banning and Ankaragucu’s Gustave Bebbe still showed Cameroon’s strength in attack.

South Korea, on the other hand, qualified for five consecutive Olympics. The Koreans, who progressed beyond the group stage for the first time in Athens 2004, tested the Cameroonians with their hard-running and physical approach in the opening minutes.

In the sixth minute, midfielder Lee Keun-ho made a surging run down the left, beating Cameroon defender Andre Bikey along the way.

But the Daegu FC player could only steer his shot wide of the goal. Despite South Korea being the livelier side, Cameroon soon began to stamp their dominance in the game.

Cameroon nearly went ahead in the 11th minute, after Gustan Bebbe delivered a pinpoint pass to Landry N’Guemo, who blasted the ball over the goal.

The Cameroonians had another opportunity to take the lead, when they earned a free-kick just outside the Koreans’ penalty box eight minutes later. Stephane Mbia tested goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong with his powerful effort that sailed through the legs of the Korean wall.

Despite Cameroon putting pressure on the Korea, they failed to pry open the resolute Korean defence, as the first 45 minutes without a goal.

Second Half

In the second half, South Korea came out firing on all cylinders, as they attempted to take the match to Cameroon. They were rewarded for their efforts in the 68th minute.

South Korea earned a free-kick on the left outside penalty box and striker Park Chu-young blasted his powerful shot beyond the reach of Cameroon keeper Amour Tingyemb.

The goal sent the pockets of Korean spectators in the stadium into raptures as the Cameroonians were left reeling in shock from the goal.

But an inspired substitution from coach Martin Ndtoungou proved the turning point for the Cameroonians.

Midfielder Franck Songo’o, having come on for Landry N’Guemo on 79 minutes made an impact within two minutes. The Portsmouth player timed his run down the right flank, and sliced open the Korean defence with his pass into the box, where fellow substitute Georges Mandjeck was waiting to unleash his shot into the net.

Spurred on by the equaliser, Cameroon attempted at a late flourish by testing the Korean keeper with several long-range shots.

South Korea however, held on stubbornly to force a draw with Cameroon.

With Italy beating Honduras 3-0 in the other group match played earlier, Cameroon will need to ensure all three points against Honduras on Sunday, if they are to progress from Group D.

South Korea: Jung Sung-ryong (gk), Shin Kwang-hoon, Kim Dong-jin, Kang Min-soo, Kim Jin-kyu, Lee Chung-yong, Ki Sung-yeung (Oh Jang-eun 84), Kim Jung-woo, Baek Ji-hoon (Shin Young-rok 46), Park Chu-young, Lee Keun-ho

Cameroon: Amour Tingyemb (gk), Antonio Ghomsy, Andre Bikey, Bebey Kingue, Enam Alexis, Stephane Mbia, Landry N'Guemo (Franck Songo’o 79), Aurelien Chedjou Fongang (Mboua 75), Alain Olle Olle (Georges Mandjeck 64), Albert Baning, Gustan Mbangue Anilet Bebbe

Goals: 68th minute – (South Korea) Park Chu-young | 81st minute – (Cameroon) Georges Mandjeck

Yellow Card: Kim Jin-kyu (South Korea)

Red Card: Albert Banning (Cameroon)

Both teams finished their opening game with a point each. The game also saw a red card shown to Baning of Cameroon just before the game.

Wasteful Cameroon Held By Korea Reviewed by admin Ucop on 12:04 AM Rating: 5

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