Cameroon vow to prove Lions can still roar
"We cannot afford to participate in a big tournament like the World Cup and go back without a point," goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou said on Monday. "It will be the worst in our country's World Cup history. We cannot let this happen."
"We're going to give all our energy, we're going to give our best to show that Cameroon remains a great football nation, the Lions can still roar. We'll work hard to make up for our errors in the past games by winning this last match. It is a must!
"The match against Holland may be our last game of the tournament no matter the result, but for us it remains a World Cup game and so very important," he told a news conference ahead of the Group E encounter in Cape Town.
The Lions, speaking to reporters at their Northlands Primary School field training ground in Durban, blamed their 2-1 loss to Denmark on Saturday on bad luck and admitted they underestimated Japan in their opening 1-0 defeat.
"We were downhearted and completely broken at the end of the Denmark game because we did what we were supposed to do - played well, dominated the game but missed many scoring chances," said midfielder Stephane Mbia.
"They had their two chances and took them. That is football. We played better but they won. I just want to say we were just unlucky," he added.
Souleymanou said that while Cameroon were unlucky in the second match, their early exit from the World Cup was rooted in their defeat by Japan in their opener.
"Really, we lost our chance in the first game and put ourselves in a very bad situation," he said.
"Japan were within our reach but we didn't put in as much effort as we did in the second game. We saw them as underdogs, put in less effort and paid the price."