AFCON: Resilient Cameroon came from three goals down, wins third place

Oviri Kelvin

The third-place match of the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations is one that we go down well in the annals of history as the host nation, Cameroon, staged a dramatic comeback from three goals down to defeat Burkina Faso on spot-kicks after extra time.

The third-place match played at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo and officiated by referee Redouane Jiyed of Morocco was, as at the first 49 minutes, presumably concluded for the Burkinabes when Djibril Ouattara slotted in Bertrand Traore’s assist to triple the goals difference with Indomitable Lions.

Like the nickname of the Indomitable Lions, Cameroon made tactical changes to the team in the 46th minute by bringing in the leading goal scorer in the competition, Vincent Aboubakar and N. Ngamaleu to replace S. Gouet and I. Ganago respectively.

The tactical changes by the coach of the Indomitable Lions paid off in the 71st minute when Cameroonian forward, S. Bahoken, who plays for French Ligue 1 club, Angers, scored the first goal to reduce the deficit to two.

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Relentlessly, Cameroon kept on the pressure on the Burkinabe’s defence, and in the 85th minute, V. Aboubakar headed in the corner-kick taken by N. Ngamaleu to reduce the deficit to one. Two minutes later, V. Aboubakar responded again from a slip up between Burkina Faso’s goalkeeper, Farid Ouedraogo, and one of his back-four, to bring the scoreline to 3-3 parity.

Cameroon went on to defeat the Burkinabes 5-3 on penalty shootouts to win the third-place playoff after the extra time ended without any goal scored. V Aboubakar has increased his goals to 8 after scoring a brace against the Burkinabes.

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