DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) — Unified again and yearning for another deep run at the World Cup, Cameroon is looking recapture the good old days.
A disappointing display at the last World Cup — losses to the Netherlands, Japan and Denmark — are behind them. A positive outlook for Brazil is straight ahead.
"In South Africa, we completely veered off target," Cameroon midfielder Jean II Makoun said. "But I think we have a better team now with better organization and the players are happy and united."
Cameroon became the first African team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals at the 1990 tournament in Italy. They have qualified for all but one World Cup since, only missing out on the 2006 edition in Germany.
Don't expect this year's team to be as good as Roger Milla and Co. from 1990, however.
Last month, the Indomitable Lions were routed by Portugal 5-1 in their first warm-up match for the tournament. The setback betrayed flaws in almost every sector of coach Volker Finke's 4-3-3 lineup.
"It was upsetting at this stage to see the team behave like that. Once you lose focus and control, the result is shocking," said Finke, a German. "However, it was an experimental game which we used to test new player combinations, to see what will work best in Brazil."
Cameroon will try to regroup during a training camp in Austria from May 20-31. The team will play two friendlies against Macedonia and Paraguay before putting the finishing touches to its preparations against Germany on June 1.