‘No problem’ – Cameroon’s Song SLAMS Onana rift rumours ahead of Nigeria clash

Cameroon head coach Rigobert Song has shot down claims that he’s involved in a new rift with goalkeeper Andre Onana.

The 47-year-old dropped the Manchester United goalkeeper for the Indomitable Lions’ final group game against Gambia in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024).

Despite Onana being left on the bench, Cameroon came from behind to record an impressive 3-2 victory over Gambia, which earned them a place in the last 16 of the tournament.

Onana had reported late to the AFCON after intentionally delaying his arrival to be able to feature in Manchester United’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur on January 14.

Andre Onana
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This meant the goalkeeper missed Cameroon’s opening game against Guinea a day later, which ended 1-1.

Onana was, however, restored in the starting line-up for the Indomitable Lions’ second group game against Senegal, but endured a miserable run as Sadio Mane and co. coasted to a 3-1 victory.

Cameroon coach Song denies rift with Onana

The result saw the Manchester United shot-stopper once again left on the bench for Cameroon’s last group game against Gambia.

With Song’s side preparing to face neighbours Nigeria in the next round, the former centre-back said he has no problem with any of his goalkeepers.

Song explained that, contrary to reports in the media, all his three goalkeepers are competitive and are ready to contribute when called upon.

“I have no problem with my goalkeepers. They are all competitive and ready to respond when they need to play. There is no controversy. They get along very well,” Song said.

Cameroon target clean sheet against Nigeria

The former Liverpool and West Ham United defender also discussed his game plan for the upcoming round of 16 game against Nigeria.

Song bemoaned the six goals that his side conceded during the group phase and said Cameroon were targeting a clean sheet against the Super Eagles.

He noted that the Indomitable Lions will try to make it difficult for Victor Osimhen and the other Nigerian attackers when the two teams face off on Saturday.

“We have already conceded six goals and tomorrow we will find the formula to not concede,” Song added.

“We will try to put Nigeria in difficulty and fight to continue in the competition. I know what needs to be done so that we do everything possible tomorrow to obtain a positive result.

Cameroon have beaten Nigeria three times in AFCON finals but the Super Eagles reigned supreme in their last clash with a 3-2 victory at the 2019 AFCON.

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Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.