Cameroon scraped a 3-2 friendly international win Monday over Thailand – a team World Cup legend Roger Milla dismissed as “football nonentities”.
It took an 88th-minute match-winner from defender Ngweni Ndassi Kadiang to salvage pride for the four-time African champions in Bangkok after they trailed by two goals.
Although 93 places below Cameroon in the world rankings, the Thai ‘War Elephants’ rocked the ‘Indomitable Lions’ when Prakit Deeprom’s score and Aurelien Chedjou’s own-goal gave Thailand a 2-0 lead.
Benjamin Moukandjo pulled one goal back before halftime and Clinton N’Jie equalised from a penalty with 13 minutes left.
Victory completed a two-win Asian tour for Cameroon after a 1-0 success in Indonesia – ranked even lower than Thailand – last Wednesday.
Milla, whose goals and corner-flag dance celebrations lit up the 1990 World Cup in Italy where Cameroon became the first African quarterfinalists, was furious about the tour.
“Confronting Indonesia and Thailand is a humiliation for Cameroon,” Milla told the domestic media.
“How can a country like Cameroon pick such football nonentities to play international friendly matches against?
“I do not know why the national association organised friendly games against them – maybe they need some funds.
“It is a shame as we do not need friendly games against such teams.”
Milla, brought out of semi-retirement on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion to play in Italy, said Thailand and Indonesia were not good enough opposition for Cameroon.
“Our national team would gain more by playing Cameroonian clubs,” he said.
Milla has been a constant critic of the foreign coaches hired by the central African country, with veteran German Volker Finke the latest incumbent.
Finke has had a roller-coaster ride as the ‘Lions’ handler, starting with a humiliating exit from the 2014 World Cup.
Cameroon lost all three group games, senior midfielder Alex Song was red-carded, and a player head-butted a teammate after an attack broke down.
A much-changed team lacking Samuel Eto’o, a talented but troublesome former icon, qualified impressively for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations only to be eliminated after the first round without winning a game.
Algeria, the top-ranked team in Africa despite a 2015 Cup of Nations quarterfinal loss to eventual champions Ivory Coast, crushed Oman 4-1 in Qatar capital Doha.
It was a timely return to form by the ‘Desert Foxes’ after performing poorly last week when losing 1-0 to the Qataris in the same city.
Parma striker Ishak Belfodil and Valencia winger Sofiane Feghouli inflicted the damage with two goals each at Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium in the country that will host the 2022 World Cup.
Algeria scored twice in each half before Ali Suliman Al Busaidi claimed a consolation goal for the Omani ‘Reds’.
After scoring four goals in a thrilling triumph over Mali five days ago, Gabon were held 0-0 by Belarus in Turkish city Antalya.