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10 December 2023

Zambia wary of another mauling

Eto'o, right, will try to revive Cameroon's tournament today. (AP)


Zambia coach Herve Renard hopes his players have short memories as they prepare to face Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations today.

After making a losing start to the previous tournament in Ghana two years ago, the Indomitable Lions roared back with a 5-1 win against the Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets).

And, because Cameroon were stunned 1-0 by central Africa neighbours Gabon four days ago, Renard has warned his squad that a wounded lion is an animal to be feared.

"Zambia are not scared of Cameroon, but I hope they do not recover their form against us. A lion is more dangerous when wounded," said Renard ahead of the Group D game showdown against fellow French coach Paul Le Guen. "I hope we can knock Cameroon out of the Nations Cup."

After Samuel Eto'o-led Cameroon flopped on Wednesday, Zambia had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Tunisia despite taking an early lead through Jacob Mulenga and creating more clearcut chances.

Meanwhile, Cameroon coach Le Guen will be keen to replicate the 2008 five-goal thrashing in Kumasi, and get his side back on track for a quarter-finals place.

Losing to an early goal from out-of-favour Hull City striker Daniel Cousin meant the Frenchman experienced the bitterness of defeat for the first time since being put in charge of the Lions last August.

But there was no sign of anxiety from the man who led Lyon to three successive French titles as he put his squad through their paces in the southern town of Lubango yesterday.

"Obviously I am disappointed at the outcome against Gabon and hope for victories when we meet Zambia and Tunisia in our remaining group fixtures," said Le Guen.

"We remain focused on winning this tournament, my players are calm, they are training well and we approach the game against Zambia with all the seriousness it deserves.

"Cameroon did not deserve to fail against Gabon as we dominated the greater part of the game," added the Frenchman.

In today's other match, Gabon tackle Tunisia, African champions in 2004, at the 20,000-capacity Tundavala Stadium.


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