Women's World Cup: Cameroon set for competitive tests

A team pennant for the Cameroon Women's football team
Cameroon clinched third place at the 2018 Women's Africa Cup of Nations to earn a place at the World Cup

Cameroon will play its first international games since the 2018 Women's Africa Cup of Nations at a tournament in China next month.

The four-nation event will see the Indomitable Lionesses step up their preparations for June's World Cup in France.

They will face Croatia on 4 April before taking on the winners of the China and Russia game in the final three days later.

"After several months of training it'll be great to gauge our level and see how competitive our team can be" Cameroon coach Alain Djeumfa told BBC Sport.

The squad are currently at a training camp at the Caf Centre of Excellence in Yaounde.

"In our second camp, we had 30 players and now we have 26," the 46-year-old coach explained.

"We decided to leave out eight players and we've brought in four new ones. Such a tournament will be an avenue to see how the players react psychologically in a tough game and under pressure.

"The teams we'll be playing are competitive and I'm glad we can finally put to practice what we've been devising for months."

Despite the regular training camps since the Lionesses clinched third place at the Nations Cup and a place at the World Cup their game time has been limited to playing amateur sides and men's youth teams.

The Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) are determined to offer the Lionesses improved preparations ahead of the World Cup in France.

"Apart from the China tournament, there will be a training camp in Spain in May," Fecafoot's communications director Parfait Siki told BBC Sport

"We've held fruitful talks with the Spanish federation and a game between both teams is on the cards.

"We're talking to other top teams and if things go on well, coach Djeumfa's team will be able to play many more games before they travel to France for the tournament"

Cameroon will be the second African team to compete in China this year after the reigning African champions Nigeria played in a similar event in January.

The Super Falcons lost 0-3 to China before beating Romania 4-1 to finish third in the event.

At their second World Cup the Cameroonians will face Canada, New Zealand and Netherlands in Group E.

During their maiden appearance at the World Cup in 2015 in Canada, the (Indomitable Lionesses exited the competition in the round of 16 as they lost 1-0 to China.

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