VANCOUVER: Striker Gaelle Enganamouit netted a hat-trick to put Cameroon on their way to a 6-0 win over 10-woman Ecuador in a battle between newcomers at the Women’s World Cup on Monday.
The Swedish-based player was pivotal for the west Africans giving them a boost ahead of their next Group C game against titleholders Japan.
“We’ve been waiting for this qualification for a long time, it means a lot for us to be here,” said Enganamouit after a game played before a sparse crowd at Vancouver’s BC Place stadium.
Coach Enow Ngachu added: “We came here to learn. It’s our first participation, it’s history, I can’t imagine what is happening back home.”
The player from Yaounde, who turns 24 years on Tuesday, had a role in all her side’s goals, setting up Madeleine Ngono Mani to open the floodgates on 34 minutes and two minutes later scored herself.
The South Americans had a chance off an Ambar Torres free-kick, but it was the Africans who extended their lead before the break as captain Christine Manie slotted home a penalty following a Kerly Real foul in the box.
Enganamouit then helped bring about a red card for Ecuador captain Ligia Moreira for a last-defender foul midway through the second period. She then scored following a cross from Gabrielle Onguene on 73 minutes.
Another penalty was awarded following a handball from substitute Katherine Ortiz and a penalty taken by Onguene, before a third spot-kick in injury time by Enganamouit.
Cameroon now prepare to match their skills against Japan, who play Switzerland later on Monday in Vancouver.
Ecuador next take on the Swiss on Friday. – AFP