Cameroon Lions Leave Libya Licking their Wounds

Published June 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Cameroon can start checking flight timetables to the Far East even though they have seven qualifying matches to play for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. 

A 3-0 triumph in Libya at the weekend got the Lions off to a superb start in Group A and the fact that Zambia, the team most likely to threaten them, slumped 2-1 in but Angola did no harm either. 

The star-studded African Nations Cup holders host Angola in Yaounde on July 9 and with Zambia due to visit Central Africa early next year, the Lions may secure one of the five African places long before the qualifiers end. 

Italy-based striker Patrick Mboma was the star in Tripoli, scoring after 36 and 67 minutes before Patrice Ebongue completed the humiliation of Libya with three minutes left. 

It was the biggest away victory by Cameroon in a World Cup qualifier and the first time Liyba lost at home or conceded more than one goal in the quadrennial competition. 

Libyan supporters did not enjoy watching their heroes tormented by the multi-talented Cameroonians and play was halted for 10 minutes by Tunisian referee Mourad Daami when crowd trouble erupted. 

The result could see Libya intensify efforts to woo former England manager Terry Venables in place of 1986 World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo from Argentina. 

Bilardo was sent off during the second leg of a shock preliminary-round victory over Mali and the London Sunday Times claims he has "fallen out of favor" with Libyan football officials. 

Al-Saadi Kadhafi, son of the Libyan leader directs the national football team there on and off the field. He is president of the national association and captains the team from midfield. 

Kadhafi junior has met Venables twice and reportedly offered the Englishman an annual salary of 2,75 million dollars to guide a national team ranked 126 in the world – (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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