Pierre Boisrond

Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of the World Cup.

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Cameroon - Africa's adventure in 1990

    The 1990 World Cup gave us some of the most memorable games. Among these games we could name a few: Germany vs. Colombia; Argentina vs. Italy; Cameroon vs. England; and Germany vs. England. During the 1990 World Cup, the world had a chance to see the dream team of the African continent. That team was Cameroon. It was time for Africa to join the elite group, basically containing teams from South America and Europe.

    Cameroon demonstrated to the World Cup giants that they were up to the challenge. The opening ceremony of the 1990 WC took place in the legendary stadium "Giuseppe Meazza" in Milan, Italy where the Argentina of Diego Armando Maradona would have to face the super sub Roger Milla of Cameroon. It was fiesta in Milan as the world was ready to follow this tournament with a legion of superstars such as: Diego Armando Maradona, Roger Milla, Lothar Matthaus, Salvatore "Toto" Schillachi, Georghe Hagi, Careca, Peter Shilton, Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, Andreas Brehme, Thomas Nkono, Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten, Gary Lineker and many more. However, in the opening game, the world was focused on Cameroon vs. Argentina.

    The Cameroonians took the game very seriously from the first minute and shocked the world when Francois Oman Biyik gave Cameroon a 1-0 lead against the men of Carlos Bilardo, the Argentine coach. Neri Alberto Pumpido, the Argentine goalie made a clear mistake by not stopping the header from the talented Biyik. Maradona had done his best to help the "Albiceleste", but his effort was in vain against some of the best Cameroon players, such as Makanaky, Mfede, and Francois Oman Biyik. It was sadness in Argentina but celebration in Cameroon after defeating the 1986 World Cup champion. No one could believe it, but the Cameroonians believed in themselves that they could beat an Argentina conducted by the all-time great, Diego "Dieguito" Armando Maradona.

    The Cameroon victory against Argentina was a surprise to the football fans who could not believe that the African Continent had made so much progress over the last few years. For Cameroon, the objective was to reach the World Cup final and to put Africa among the giants of Europe and South America. This victory was not a fluke as Cameroon with a superb Roger Milla sent the Colombia of Rene "el loco" Higuita and Valderrama packing. If the Brazilians danced the samba in Mexico 70 and the Argentines danced the Tango in Mexico 86, we could easily say that the Cameroonians danced the Soka in Italy 1990. Finally, Cameroon had to face England in the quarter final. This game turned out to be one of the best World Cup games ever. Both teams played with such majestic touches that were truly appreciated by the world soccer fans. Although Cameroon lost the game 3-2 after the Mexican referee, Codesal, awarded two penalty kicks to England, The players deserved all the praise. Codesal, the Uruguayan born but naturalized referee did a good job. However, to award two penalty kicks in a quarter final is somewhat cruel; especially one of the penalties was debatable. After this WC, Codesal gave FIFA his letter of resignation.

    The same Codesal awarded a bogus penalty to Germany against Argentina in the 90 World Cup final and definitely handed the WC to Matthäus and company. Codesal ended the hope of Cameroon, but the Lions accomplish their goals by putting Africa on the map. Without any doubt, the decade of 1990 should be regarded as the decade for African Football.



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