After enduring years of heartbreak at the hands of the Super Falcons, head coach of the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon Joseph Brian says his team “wants revenge” and will do “something extraordinary” in today’s 2018 Women Africa Cup of Nations semi-final when they take on Nigeria at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Lionesses have endured a heavily one-sided rivalry with the Super Falcons having lost nine of eleven matches against them often in heartbreaking fashion. The Falcons are ten times defending champions of the AWCON and four of those victories have come at the expense of the Indomitable Lionesses who have never won this tournament in their history. In fact, they’ve only ever made the final four times in their history, losing to Nigeria each and every time most recently in 2016 when they fell as hosts to a Desire Oparanozie strike in the 86th minute. The Indomitable Lionesses are seemingly consumed by those memories and in response to a question about revenge being a motivating factor for the Cameroonians, Brain replied: “we want revenge”.
The former Cameroon international was only recently appointed to his position as head coach of the Lionesses but says he felt the pain of the 2016 final defeat “as a Cameroonian”. Brian believes that defeat was down to “a lot of mistakes” which his charges won’t be repeating when they “battle” Nigeria today.
“In 2016, I wasn’t the coach but I was a Cameroonian so I saw everything,” he said in his pre-match media conference.
“A lot of mistakes were done in the past these are some of the mistakes we are going to make sure we correct going into this battle and make sure that we do something extraordinary. Nigeria is a force to reckon with in African football and that they have won almost nine times against us tells a lot but one-day things could change.”
It is that weight of history that Cameroon will be battling against as they seek to keep hopes of a first-ever continental triumph alive at the expense of the reigning ten times champions. But as the saying goes history is meant to broken and Brian believes the Indomitable Lionesses can, starting with today’s game.
“Yes, history tells us Nigeria has won the Women Cup of Nations so many times. History also tells us Cameroon have never won it,” Brian said.
“This is because of what we did previously, we will try to correct our mistakes there’s always a first time for whatever you are doing maybe today might be the first time for Cameroon. We are working towards it to make sure we change it. If we don’t score, we don’t want to allow them even to score against us.
“We will play until the 94th minute, we will play until the end of the game to make sure something is possible for us.”