South Africa (Reuters) – Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o is good but he is not “perfect,” Japan coach Takeshi Okada said ahead of his side’s first World Cup Group E match against the Indomitable Lions on Monday.
With 42 goals in 92 appearances for Cameroon, Eto’o is exactly the sort of scoring threat Okada’s side have lacked in recent months and the Lions captain will be looking for an easy kill once again at Bloemfontein’s Free State Stadium (10 a.m. EDT).
“I don’t think (Eto’o) is perfect and the Cameroon team is not only Eto’o,” Okada told reporters at a news conference in a bright and breezy Bloemfontein on Sunday.
Nevertheless, Okada, whose side have lost four of their last five matches and scored just once, has steeled his players for the Inter Milan forward’s presence.
“Our players should be well informed enough about how he plays. We would like to have several players to cover him,” he added.
A relaxed Okada, who met the media alongside midfielder Makoto Hasebe, predicted a 1-0 or 2-1 victory for his side on Monday and also denied suggestions that he will favor a defensive approach for the game.
“I never said to concentrate on defense against Cameroon, if it doesn’t go well we are not only focusing on defense we will be very proactive on the attack side as well,” Okaka, whose side have never won a World Cup match on foreign soil, said.
Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen will hope Eto’o can live up to the billing and help continue his side’s unbeaten record in their opening World Cup matches.
They famously beat holders Argentina on the opening day of the 1990 edition and have drawn on the four other occasions.
(Editing by Jon Bramley)