Failing to make it through the Group Stage for four World Cups in a row is looking like a curse. And qualifying for any African nation is no walk in the park. So to come through a tough continental qualifier and to fall at the first hurdle so often has to hurt.
Were the seeds sown by player power seeming to over-rule the management? Eto'o gathering the squad into a circle and conducting the team talk while the greying manager forlornly looked on before their opener suggested something amiss. And so it proved on the pitch, one of the best sides in Africa flying home with the early birds. Shame.