The Cameroon Olympic Women’s Football team have emerged victorious from the first friendly match of their pre games training camp (PGTC).
The team made the most of their first performance on UK soil by claiming a confident 2-0 win against the Northern Ireland women’s team in a match hosted by Turriff United Football Club on Sunday 8 July.
The Cameroon squad are using Aberdeen city and shire as a training base ahead of the London 2012 Olympics which begins on 27 July. Aberdeenshire Council joined forces with Turriff United football team, Aberdeen Sports Village and RGU: SPORT to arrange for the Northern Irish team to travel to Scotland and play a friendly international match as part of the PGTC –the first international football match that Turriff United has hosted.
On the day, the teams were given a warm welcome by the Turriff community who joined them in a procession from the town centre to the stadium.
Kicking off at 3pm, a slightly nervous start for both teams quickly settled into a hotly contested match, with the first goal coming at 16 minutes in, courtesy of left-side mid-fielder Deborah Enganamouit Gaelle.
The Northern Irish team came into their own towards the end of the first half and beginning of the second, managing to stave off the Cameroonians’ advances with a robust defense.
However it was a combination of the African team’s unshakable possession of the ball and the fleet-footedness of Gabrielle Omgueme Aboudi that secured the final victory, with Aboudi scoring in the 91st minute – an effort that earned her the title of Women of the Match.
The teams came together in a post-match meal also hosted at the Club, exchanging gifts and praise for each others’ performance.
The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Cllr Jill Webster, and Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Colin Mackenzie were among the guests invited to attend the match.
The Provost said: “It was an honour to be able to host an international football match in Aberdeenshire in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. This was a fantastic opportunity for the people of Aberdeenshire and the north-east of Scotland to be a part of the Olympic celebrations and watch what was an exciting game.”
Turriff United secretary, Gairn Ritchie, said: “Turriff United were pleased to be considered as one of the hosts for this match, and absolutely delighted when it was awarded to us. Games of this stature do not come to places like Turriff often, and we enjoyed welcoming both Cameroon and Northern Ireland to the town.
“Our club viewed this as more than a game of football, so we tried to include the community as much as possible with groups across the spectrum, from the Brownies to the Army cadets.”
The Cameroon team arrived in Aberdeen on Wednesday, July 4 for their pre-games training camp at Aberdeen Sports Village and RGU: SPORT ahead of the Games. The majority of the Cameroon Olympics squad will leave for London on July 16. The Women's Football Team will remain in Aberdeen for a further week for the number of female footballers to be cut down from 23 to the final 18 who will compete in the Games.
Aberdeen Sports Village Chief Executive David Beattie said: “The match against Northern Ireland in Turriff was a great opportunity for people in the north-east to get involved in this year’s Olympic celebrations.
“It is also a fantastic lead up to the Scotland women’s international challenge match against the Cameroon team taking place at Aberdeen Sports Village on July 15.”
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