Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cameroon-Senegal Match

Yaounde, Cameroon

Two months ago I watched Senegal narrowly defeat Cameroon in the CAF Futebol match in Dakar at the very last minute.  Neither team played very well with very sloppy passes and the star of the Cameroonian team, Samuel Eto'o, did absolutely nothing.  As a sheer matter of coincidence we ended up in Yaounde the same weekend as the rematch where Cameroon had to win or risk elimination from the CAF.  By a miracle a friend was given 5 VIP tickets by Samuel Eto'o and he passed the other four onto me and my traveling companions.

VIP Seats
Back in Dakar I had to take a taxi to about a km from the stadium, walk the rest of the way, stand in line, and fight security to get in and got one of the nice concrete bench seats.  In Yaounde we got the VIP treatment with our golden tickets where we were able to drive right up to the stadium and had special reserved parking.  We had nice seats with backs and people brought us drinks and commemorative shirts.  After the match the police opened a path for our vehicle and we quickly moved out of traffic back into the city (in Dakar it took us two hours to leave the stadium parking lot).

The match was one-sided with Senegal playing not to lose the entire match while Eto'o and crew took shot after shot.  Fortunately for Senegal, the Lions of Terranga, the outstanding guardian never let anything in and made a series of amazing saves.  The referees did their best to help the Cameroonians, the Indomitable Lions, but Eto'o could never put the ball in the net, even hitting the crossbar on a penalty.  By the end of the match the Senegalese coach was ejected and Senegal was playing without two players and Cameroon still could not score.  At the end after the air went out of the crowd as the head referee blew his whistle three times to end the match.  Cameroon did everything it could but Senegal somehow remained undefeated.
video

The crowd was depressed and walked quietly with their heads down as they left the stadium and it seemed the Senegalese were smart enough to not celebrate too loudly their victory.  Later I heard that a small riot broke out near the stadium and a hotel where westerners and Senegalese visitors stayed and had to be rescued by the Police.

The next morning I caught my flight back to Senegal.  I enjoyed my time in Cameroon and hope to go back some day to catch more waves, climb Mt Cameroon, and explore the rest of the country.  Five days is not enough time experience Cameroon.

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