Thursday, February 07, 2008
Song shines for Cameroon as they reach the Africa Nations Cup Final
By 1970’s Gooner
Cameroon reached the Final of the Africa Nations Cup by beating the host nation Ghana 1-0.
The goal was scored by substitute Nkong in the 70th minute when he was put through by a delightful ball by Eto’o behind the Ghana defense. He opened up his body and curled his shot past the keeper.
Chelsea’s Essien who played in central defence could nothing to stop the goal. He was missed in midfield where Arsenal’s Alexander Song excelled. He played the defensive holding role and he hardly put a foot wrong.
Cameroon strangely adopted the long ball strategy opting every time they gained possession in defence to launch it high towards Eto’o. This did not suit his style of play as his skills are really best utilized with the ball at his feet.
Still, once Ghana could not turn their 61% ball possession and overall superiority into goals it was inevitable that Cameroon will score.
But their long ball style bypassed the midfield and invited Ghana onto them and it was this that brought Alexander Song more into the forefront as his defensive duties were always in demand.
He protected his defenders very well competing for every ball and when he came into possession he laid it off accurately to a team mate with that characteristic ease which typifies him.
He along with his uncle Rigobert Song were among the outstanding performers of the game. Alexander has shown this season that he has really come on leaps and bounds and this performance has paid testimony to that.
His uncle thinks a lot of him:
"Our fathers are brothers. Alex is my friend, even though we don't room together at present.
"I always want to talk about Alex, as I'm so proud about him. He doesn't play regularly at Arsenal and that's why I'm so happy about his form for the Cameroonian team in Ghana. Alex has been showing a lot of quality."
I would tend to agree with Rigobert Song. Alex is now a viable alternative to Flamini for a starting place in the team if he is needed.