By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Fatima Tagnaout’s 78 minute goal was all the Atlas Lionesses needed to earn Morocco a historic 1-0 victory over the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the Match Day 2 of the on-going Aisha Buhari Invitational Friendlies played at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
This victory is even sweeter as the Moroccans have to achieve it away from home and before a global television audience on Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital city.
Like the opening match of the competition between Nigeria’s Super Falcons and Les Aiglonnes of Mali, the Morocco and Cameroon encounter waited till the later stages of the game before the deadlock was broken.
Tagnaout who plays club football for ASFAR in Morocco had out-muscled two Cameroonian defenders to score the line goal after receiving the ball over the top from her teammate.
The fleet-footed forward has been in fine form all this season as she also scored for ASFAR to beat Tunisia’s Banque de l’Habitat 10-0 goals last July that qualified her club for the forthcoming TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League final in Egypt, Head Coach, Reynald Pedros will be happy with the overall performance of his youthful team as they impressed in the face of the pedigree of the second highest ranked team in African continent just behind Nigeria.
Pedros’ game plans worked as his wards, including seven players from ASFAR; goalkeeper Errmichi Khadija, Tagnaout, Chebbak Ghizlane, Ait Elhaj Hanane, Chhiri Ghizlane, Redouani Zineb and Jraidi Ibtissam, outclassed Cameroon and deserved their victory over a tough opponents.
The presence of overseas-based players like Amani Salma (US Saint-Malo), Nakkach Elodie Nahla (Servette Geneve FC), Seghir Sabah (US Sampdoria), and Hassani Marwa (VGA Saint-Maur) helped Morocco.
Cameroon’s Head, Gabriel Zabo who was appointed by Cameroon Football Federation (FCAFOOT) three months ago, June 18, 2021 to be precise, with the charge to prepare the team for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco will have to change his strategy in the next game as his tactics failed him on Thursday.
Zabo took over from Alain Djeumfa Defrasne who coached the Lionesses since January 2019 but was sacked for his failure to qualify Cameroon for the Tokyo Olympics after his side was beaten in the Inter-continental Play-offs that took place in April in Turkey when Cameroon was defeated by Chile in the away and return legs.
Although Zabo did not include super stars like Adjara Njoya in the Cameroon’s team yet the likes of veteran Gabrielle Onguene, and Rose Bella did not offer much on the day hence Morocco won the game.
Morocco will take on Mali next while Ghana will be waiting for Cameroon in the last match just as South Africa and Ghana will clash tomorrow in an explosive match at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.