Every alternate minute your eyes move up towards the sky. Back in your mind you start debating as to when did it last pour with such a rage in the Capital. But as National Coach Wim Koevermans puts it: “There’s nothing you can do about the Weather. It’s not in anyone’s hands.”
Still your eyes try to measure the clouds; it’s the human mind after all. In a desperate attempt to find more, you turn to the internet. There, it’s worse as it’s expected to pour in the next 10 days.
Courtesy the weather, attacks didn’t pour against Nepal in the last match. “Nepal adjusted better than us,” was Koevermans’ assessment. A strong and sturdy Cameroon wait next, in what is a dress rehearsal for the final.
“We have come to India to show to you all what football in Cameroon is all about. We have mesmerized the World with our brand of football. We want India to have a feel of it too,” Cameroon’s Coach Emmanuel Bosso echoes.
“India are a strong side but Cameroon are stronger; in fact, the strongest in this Tournament,” Maldives Coach Istvan Urbanyi maintains. “Forget their physical presence, they are much stronger tactically and technically,” he adds.
Koevermans complements Urbanyi. “Cameroon are surely a very strong side. They are capable of playing good football and that’s already on display,” he admits. “The match will be interesting. We play Cameroon twice and the final stays the more important one,” he goes on. “The last Group League match gives us a chance to have a look more at our bench.”
Does that mean that you will be blazing all guns against India in the Nehru Cup? Bosso sidesteps the query. Instead he reflects that Roger Milla will be coming to cheer for them from the stands. “He is our Football Ambassador. He had promised that we will come to cheer for us if we make it to the Final. We are all waiting for him,” Bosso informs.
“But India have some good players. The No. 6 (Lenny Rodrigues) has impressed me a lot. He can play around in the midfield and stays a potent force. Also, the Captain (Sunil Chhetri) and the goalkeeper (Subrata Pal) are key members. But we have our plans,” Bosso quips.
Urbanyi has more to add: “If you consider the physical ability, speed and endurance, Cameroon are way ahead.”
At the Jaypee Greens, Koevermans takes out his drawing board and explains to his wards. The shape and organistaion and the ‘adjustments,’ it’s understood will hold the key.
The kick-off is at 7pm on 31st August.
By Nilanjan Datta,
AIFF Media Team