The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon finally lifted the AFCON 2017 Cup, after producing an impressive comeback to trounce Egypt in the final match of the tournament held in Libreville, Gabon’s capital, Sunday.
Egypt, who dominated the first 45 minutes of the game, took an early lead through Arsenal’s midfielder Mohamed Elneny who found the net in the 22nd minute with an impressive near-post strike that exposed glaring weaknesses in Cameroon’s defense.
But a few seconds to the hour mark, Cameroon’s Nicolas Nkoulou sent the entire stadium wild, after he converted a beautiful header that left Egypt’s goalkeeper, Essam El-Hadary, chasing wind.
The equalizer seemed to give Cameroon a new impetus as they kept attacking their opponent’s half for the better part of the second half.
The big moment came in the 89th minute, when Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar, who had just come in as a substitute, managed to impressively control a difficult ball, clip it over a defender, and place it past Egypt’s goalkeeper.
Aboubakar’s last-minute score gave Cameroon an opportunity to clinch the African Cup of Nations title after a desperate 15-year wait.
The win also makes Cameroon the second most-successful country in the history of the AFCON competition after Egypt.
This marks the first time that the Indomitable Lions have defeated the Pharaohs in the tournament’s final, after three unsuccessful attempts.
The Lions managed to win the title despite having suffered some serious pre-tournament setbacks, including the last-minute withdrawal of eight key players.
Part of their success has been attributed to Coach Hugo Broos’ ability to put together a formidable squad that remained strong, resilient, and adaptable throughout the tournament.
“I am happy for the players. This is not a group of football players; they are a group of friends,” Broos said after the win.
Watch highlights of the Cameroon vs. Egypt match here:
Egypt had to settle for the runners-up ranking while Burkina Faso settled for the third position, after their 2-0 win against the Black Stars of Ghana on Saturday.
After more than two weeks of exciting action at the AFCON 2017 in Gabon, the curtains finally dropped last night in a colorful event that was attended by top African leaders, including President of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.