“Cameroon are a very strong side. In fact, among all the teams that I have played against in the Nehru Cup since 2007, this is the most capable side. They are a class side,” said Chetri. India lost 0-1 to Cameroon in an inconsequential tie on Friday. The trial run between reigning Nehru Cup champions India and challengers Cameroon was of little help in judging the relative strengths of the two teams.
The round-robin game provided a hint that India will have to play out of their skins if they have to win the cup for a third successive time. The African giants rested nine of the regulars on Friday while the Indians benched five, including Chhetri. In the absence of Chhetri, the Indian attack lacked teeth, and his return should have a positive impact on the hosts.
Cameroon however, will have to guard against complacency. Ebanga Bertin’s cheeky penalty kick that he muffed showed that they don’t seem to think very highly of India.