Written by Dylan Newman
Cameroon make their first appearance in a Women’s World Cup this summer in Canada. While Cameroon have been relatively successful at the African-level, medaling in the last two African Championships, they have yet to make a serious impact on the global stage. Cameroon are currently ranked fifty-third in the world by FIFA.
History of Cameroon’s FIFA World Ranking from FIFA
2010 African Championship/2011 World Cup Qualifying
In the group stage of the 2011 African Women’s World Cup Qualifying, Cameroon were drawn to play Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, and Algeria. For Africa, the Women’s World Cup Qualifying coincides with the continental tournament, where the finalists qualify for the World Cup. In the first match against Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon quickly found themselves 2-0 in the thirtieth minute, but Christine Manie Patiance scored a goal right before halftime. Then, Ngogo Michele equalized in the 57th minute, and Cameroon held on for the 2-2 draw. In their second match, against Ghana, Cameroon again was lifted by Christine Manie Patiance, who put Cameroon up 1-0. Ghana quickly equalized, but Ngo-Ndoumbouk scored in the thirty-seventh minute to give Cameroon the 2-1 victory. Going into the final match, Cameroon were tied for first in points and goal differential with Equatorial Guinea, with Ghana in third a point behind. Cameroon went up in the second half against Algeria with a Gabrielle Onguene goal in the fiftieth minute, but Algeria quickly equalized. Augustine Siliki then put Cameroon 2-1 up, but Cameroon were unable to score another goal, which placed them second in the group on goal difference (Soccer24).
2011 Group B African World Cup Qualifying Standings from Wikipedia.
Cameroon faced Nigeria in the semi-finals of the African Championships. If Cameroon won, they would not only qualify for the finals but also qualify for the World Cup in Germany. However, things got off to a rough start as Helen Ukaonu scored for Nigeria in the thirty-third minute. In first half stoppage time, Nigeria scored a second goal. Cameroon made things interesting by scoring a quick goal as the second half resumed, thanks to Grace Ngock; however, Nigeria’s Perpetua Nkwocha answered with a hat-trick and Cameroon lost 5-1 (Soccer24). This eliminated them from the African Championships and ensured that they would not be participating in the 2011 FIFA World Cup. Cameroon were then shut out 0-2 against South Africa and finished fourth place in the tournament.
2012 London Olympics
Cameroon participated in the 2012 Olympics, but did not fare very well. In the first match against Brazil, Cameroon were simply outclassed as they were down 0-2 at halftime and ended up losing 0-5 (Soccer24). Then, in Cameroon’s next match, the hosts Great Britain scored two first half goals and ended up defeating Cameroon 3-0 (Soccer24). Cameroon played their final match of the group stage against New Zealand and could have gone through as a top seeded third place team with a win and some goal differential help; however, New Zealand got out to a quick 3-0 lead. Cameroon did manage to score their first and only goal in the tournament, thanks to Gabrielle Onguene, but New Zealand managed to hang on for the 3-1 victory (Soccer24). This sent Cameroon home incredibly disappointed, with zero points and a negative ten goal differential.
Group E Standings at the 2012 Olympics, from Wikipedia
2012 African Championships
Africa holds Continental Championships every two years, giving Cameroon a chance to rebound from a rough Olympic Campaign. Cameroon were drawn into Group B, with Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and Ethiopia. While Cameroon tried to put the Olympics behind them, they got off to a rough start in the 2012 African Championships in their game against Nigeria as they were down 1-0. Patiance Manie scored a penalty in the fifty-second minute and it looked as if Cameroon were going to be able to hold on for a tie, but Nigeria scored in the eighty-sixth minute and Cameroon lost 2-1 (Soccer24). In the second match, Cameroon came alive again as Adrienne Iven scored in the eleventh minute against the Ivory Coast, who later equalized in the eighteenth minute. Iven again put the team on her back, scoring in the twenty-fifth minute. Later on, Gabrielle Onguene scored in the sixty-second minute and Francine Zouga scored in the eighty-eighth minute, and Cameroon won 4-1 (Soccer 24). Cameroon went into their final match against Ethiopia needing just a point to advance, and they did just that, holding the Ethiopians to a scoreless 0-0 draw (Soccer24).
2012 Group B African Championship’s Standings from Wikipedia
As Cameroon finished second in their group, they were tasked with facing Group A winner Equatorial Guinea, the host nation whom they drew 2-2 with in the group stage of the 2010 African Championships. However, this time Cameroon were shut out 2-0 (Soccer24). In the third place match, Cameroon faced off against Nigeria, a side they lost to in the 2010 semi-finals and in the 2012 group stage. Gaelle Enganamouit scored in the thirty-first minute, and Cameroon held off late Nigerian pressure and won the bronze with the 1-0 finish (Soccer24).
2014 African Championship/2015 World Cup Qualifying
Cameroon were drawn into Group B with South Africa, Ghana, and Algeria; the latter of the two were also in Cameroon’s 2010 African Championship Group. The top two teams in the group would go through to the next round, and many expected Cameroon to advance. In Cameroon’s first match with South Africa, both teams struggled to find the back of the net until then-eighteen-year-old Raissa Feudjio scored an eighty-sixth minute goal for Cameroon, which gave Cameroon a 1-0 victory (Soccer24). In Cameroon’s second match against an Algeria side that defeated Ghana 1-0, Cameroon’s Gaelle Enganamouit scored two goals, including one from the penalty spot, to give Cameroon a 2-0 victory, which was enough for Cameroon to advance to the next round (Soccer24). In a meaningless third match for Cameroon, but a match that meant everything for Ghana, the Ghanaians won 1-0 (Soccer24).
2014 African Championships Group B from Wikipedia
As Cameroon won their group, they faced off against Group B runner up Ivory Coast, whom Cameroon defeated 4-1 in the 2012 Group Stage. This time, the game was much tighter. Cameroon’s Gaelle Enganamouit scored the opening goal in the sixtieth minute, but the Ivory Coast quickly responded in the 65th minute, notting the game up at one. The game ended 1-1 after regulation, and went into extra time, where in the 118th minute, two minutes before the game would have gone to penalty kicks, Cameroon defender Christine Manie scored the eventual game-winner, as Cameroon won 2-1 (Soccer24). This set Cameroon up for a rematch with, once again, Nigeria. Nigeria got off to a quick start and scored in the twelfth and forty-second minute, and ended up winning the match 2-0 (Soccer24).
2014 African Championship Nigeria vs Cameroon Highlights from YouTube user Score Tube
While the Cameroonians were rightfully upset, the second place finish in the tournament was good enough for them to qualify for their first Women’s World Cup, which will give them a chance to redeem themselves on the global stage after the disaster that was the 2012 Olympics.
2015 World Cup
Ladbrokes give Cameroon 250:1 odds to win the World Cup, which means that if you have $4,000 to spare and a lot of faith in the Cameroon Women’s National Team, you could become a pre-tax millionaire this July.
Cameroon were drawn into Group C with Japan, Switzerland, and Ecuador. Unfortunately for Cameroon, Japan and Switzerland seem to be at a different level, and it will be very hard for Cameroon to advance. I see Cameroon finishing at the bottom of Group C, but the experience will certainly be one to build off of in the future.
Player to Watch: Gaelle Enganamouit
Born in 1992, Gaelle Enganamouit is already Cameroon’s star player and has the potential to rise to the face of women’s soccer in Africa. In the 2012 African Championships, Gaelle scored the game winning goal in the third-place playoff against Nigeria (Soccer24). Gaelle currently plays for the Swedish first division club Eskilstuna United, after transferring for free from Serbia’s Spartak Subotica, where she played in the Champions League, in 2013 (Soccerway). While playing for Spartak, Gaelle made the history books by becoming the fastest goalscorer in women’s soccer history, after this marvelous strike from the center of the pitch.
Gaelle Goal After Four Seconds for Spartak, From ZFK Spartak’s Youtube Channel
In the 2014 campaign for Eskilstuna United, Gaelle appeared in 19 matches and scored six goals, which was a very good return for a young attacker who came on a free transfer (Soccerway). In the 2014 African Championships, Gaelle was tied for the third leading goal scorer, with three goals (Soccer24). Gaelle will certainly be one to watch looking forward, but the only question is can Cameroon give her good enough service to give her a chance to shine this summer in Canada?
Ladbrokes. Football: Women’s World Cup 2015 Odds. http://sports.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/Football/Women%27s-World-Cup-2015Football/Women%27s-World-Cup-2015-t210007470
NaijaLeaks. Cameroon Women’s Football Team. http://naijaleaks.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Cameroon-Women-Football-team.jpg
Soccer24. Brazil 5 Cameroon 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/YZuJ0aIC/#match-summary
Soccer24. Great Britain 3 Cameroon 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/fcKfWLSO/#match-summary
Soccer24. New Zealand 3. Cameroon 1. http://www.soccer24.com/match/INFPbaEE/#match-summary
Soccer24. Nigeria 2 Cameroon 1. http://www.soccer24.com/match/4l5HoT2c/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 4 Ivory Coast 1. Chttp://www.soccer24.com/match/8t2Yso2M/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 0 Ethiopia 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/Uko27XLp/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 0 Equatorial Guinea 2. http://www.soccer24.com/match/UBf0zCNK/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 1 Nigeria 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/bFdunhF3/#match-summary3
Soccer24. Cameroon 1 South Africa 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/Sl9XJ3mC/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 2 Algeria 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/OG2tIsIO/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 0 Ghana 1. http://www.soccer24.com/match/d4Xfy5In/#match-summary
Soccer24. Cameroon 2 Ivory Coast 1 http://www.soccer24.com/match/h6umTJ8n/#match-summary
Soccer24. Nigeria 2 Cameroon 0. http://www.soccer24.com/match/MNfPuBXH/#match-summary
Soccerway. http://us.soccerway.com/players/gaelle-enganamouit/253474/. 3 Apr 2015.
UEFA. Galle Enganamouit. http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/season=2013/clubs/player=250054901/index.html
Wikipeida. 2010 African Women’s Championship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_African_Women%27s_Championship
Wikipedia. 2012 African Women’s Championship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_African_Women%27s_Championship
Wikipedia. 2014 African Women’s Championship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_African_Women%27s_Championship.
Youtube. African Women Championship Final. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX2GpmZ7Rt0
Youtube. Fastest Goal in Women’s Football History. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI9hUYPlyxg
How to cite this article: “Cameroon” Written by Dylan Newman (2015), World Cup 2015, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University. http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/world-cup-guides/world-cup-2015-guide/players-to-watch-at-the-2015-womens-world-cup/cameroon/