The opportunity to play warm-up games against club and university opponents in Canada represented a better preparatory option for the central African country, who have played just three warm-up internationals this year against other African opposition.
Cameroon qualified for the June6-July 5 World Cup after finishing as runners-up at last year’s African Women’s Championship, defying the rankings to take one of the three berths reserved for Africa.
It kept up the progress they had shown by qualifying for the London Olympics, where women’s soccer is played at senior level and where Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses competed for the first time in a major tournament.
It was a baptism of fire as they lost all three of their group games at the 2012 Games, conceding 11 goals and scoring just once.
Cameroon are likely to find it tough to get any points in Canada as well, with their two other group opponents being Switzerland and defending world champions Japan.
“Our main objective will be to do better than we did in 2012 during the Olympic Games, where we learnt a lot,” said long-standing coach Carl Enow Ngachu.
“We know it’s going to be very tough for us, but Ecuador and Switzerland are also here for the first time, so there can be surprises.
“We’ll have to be well prepared. If we prepare well by the time of our first game, we can get by. But I said that this is a very difficult group and Switzerland and Japan are the group favourites.”
Cameroon’s squad includes eight foreign-based players, now earning a livelihood as professionals, headlined by 30-year-old goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom, who competes for a club in Slovenia, and the 31-year-old captain Christine Manie, a defender at Olympia Cluj Napoca of Romania.
Top striker Gaelle Deborah Enganamouit was signed by a Swedish club two years ago.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)