Cameroon Win Fifth Nations Cup Title With Victory Over Egypt
Cameroon have emerged from Gabon with their fifth Nations Cup title after a 2-1 comeback victory over Egypt in the final in Libreville on Sunday night.
The Indomitable Lions were not expected to beat the Pharaohs in the decider, as Egypt had only conceded one goal throughout the tournament up to that point, and they were aiming to lift their eighth AFCON trophy with victory in Gabon.
It was not to be for the North Africans, however, as the determined Cameroonians came into the match as underdogs but dominated much of the game, coming back from 1-0 down in the first half to triumph in the final minutes of regulation time.
Egypt took the lead in the encounter through a wonderful strike from Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny, after good play from the Pharaohs saw him on goal at a tight angle. Instead of opting for a cross or cutting back to look for a team-mate, Elneny fired at Fabrice Ondoa’s goal and managed to beat him at a tight angle with a pinpoint shot.
Cameroon put pressure on the Egyptians, but they managed to hold on to a 1-0 lead going into half time.
Second half sees Cameroon rise
The second half would see more dominance from the underdogs, and eventually that paid off when substitute Nicolas N’Koulou scoring from a header in the 58th minute to give the Lions a level playing field for the last half an hour of the encounter.
Captain Benjamin Moukandjo’s cross found N’Koulou in the box, and he continued to perform like a skipper should, leading by example and putting in a determined shift for Cameroon.
It seemed as though the match was destined to go into extra time and perhaps penalties, which would have been a poor way to end an exciting clash between two African giants, but then substitute Vincent Aboubakar stepped in with a last minute effort to earn the win for the Indomitable Lion, giving them their fifth Nations Cup title.
With two minutes left on the clock, Aboubakar controlled cross on his chest before lifting it over his marker and cracking a strike past Essam El Hadary in the Egyptian goal.
The victory is made even sweeter for Cameroon’s Belgian coach Hugo Broos because a number of high profile European-based stars turned down national team call-ups to focus on their clubs, and those who committed to the Indomitable Lions have been rewarded for their efforts.