Cameroon coach Hugo Broos hailed his side’s triumph against the odds at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday and declared his hope that it can herald a bright future for the country.
Broos had to deal with a host of refusals from key players to accept call-ups for the Cup of Nations but a new squad defied expectations to reach the final, where they beat Egypt 2-1 in Libreville, AFP reports.
“It’s true that when I came to Cameroon nearly a year ago I found a group of players who were old, not motivated, so I had to change that,” Broos said after the Indomitable Lions came from behind to beat Egypt with goals from Nicolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboubakar.
“The players were not coming to play for Cameroon; they were going because they had to, because the coach asked them to come.
“So I brought in some new young players and we started working. We did a good job and now today we have a team.
“We are still not on the highest level. We need to be much better, but it’s already a great beginning.
“I am very happy that we won the Cup of Nations today and I am happy for the players — this is not a group of football players, they are a group of friends.”
Broos added that he needed to have some strong words for his players at the interval after a first half in which Egypt were on top.
The Egyptians led through a Mohamed Elneny goal midway through the first half but Nkoulou levelled just before the hour and Aboubakar won it with two minutes left.
“I think in the first half we were tactically not in good positions. The midfield was dominated by Egypt and we had some positional mistakes,” Broos said.
“It’s very difficult to change that during the game so at half-time I told them what they had to do and they did what I asked of them.
“You see the result. But it’s not only that – we were physically much better than Egypt.”