July 5, 2022

AFCON 2021: Aboubakar comeback ensures Cameroon bag bronze

By Brian Aheebwa

Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench and fought his heart out for Cameroon to come from 3-0 down and win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations bronze medal at the expense of Burkina Faso.

Steeve Yago, an own goal from Andre Onana and Djibril Ouattara surely could have won it Burkina Faso but it wasn’t their day.

Stephane Bahoken pulled a goal back before Aboubakar’s brace completed a come back for the hosts who went on to win the third place playoff final 5-3 following a 3-3 draw in normal time at Ahmadou Stadium on Saturday.

Cameroon scored all their five penalties thanks to Aboubakar, Moumi Ngamaleu, Toko Ekambi, Pierre Kunde and Ambroise Oyongo.

On the other hand, it’s Ibrahim Blati Toure’s penalty that was saved by Onana to hand the hosts victory. Kabore, Soumaila Ouattara and Yago netted theirs.

Before all this, Burkina Faso started the game a more livelier side with Abdoul Tapsoba heading wide from close range in the 10th minute before his shot from distance was comfortably saved by Onana in the 12th minute.

Jean Onana should have given Cameroon the lead in the 19th minute but goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo pulled off a nice save to stop the former’s attempt from outside the area.

Onana had another chance in the 23rd minute but his header from close range flew slightly over the bar.

Soon after, Burkina Faso broke the deadlock in 24th minute through Yago who with a quick shot finished off Issa Kabore’s cross into the box.

And they extended their lead with halftime looming in the 43rd when  custodian Onana unfortunately conceded an own goal after deflecting Kabore’s cross into his own net.

Burkina Faso scored a third after the restart when Bertrand Traore’s long cross was headed in by Outtara in the 49th minute.

The Stallions should have added a fourth immediately but Gustavo Sangare’s decent strike after he found space at the edge of the box whisked over the bar.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, Cameroon pulled a goal back through Bahoken giving the Indomitable Lions some hope for a come back.

Substitute Karl Toko Ekambi nearly added a second for the hosts but goal minder Ouedraogo pulled off a stunning save.

With five minutes to go until fulltime, captain Aboubakar who also came off the bench at the restart of the second half, headed in a second to send the game into a nervy end.

It took him only two minutes to complete his brace and a come back for his nation as well, sending the game into post match spot kicks which they won 3-5.

How both teams lined up 

Burkina Faso: Farid Ouedraogo (GK), Steeve Yago, Issa Kabore, Soumaila Ouattara, Edmond Tapsoba, Ibrahim Blati Toure, Ismail Ouedraogo, Bertrand Traore, Gustavo Sangare, Abdoul Tapsoba, Djibril Ouattara

Substitutes: Aboubacar Sawadogo, Eric Traore, Boureima Bande, Mohamed Konate, Oula Abasi Traore, Patrick Arnaud Malo, Saidou Simpore, Dramane Nikiema Somgogma Nikiema, Issoufou Dayo, Zakaria Sanogo, Kilian Nikiema

Cameroon: Andre Onana (GK), Ambroise Oyongo, Harold Moukoudi, Olivier Mbaizo, Jerome Onguene, Samuel Gouet, Jean Onana, Ignatius Ganago, Pierre Kunde, Christian Bassogog 

Substitutes: Vincent Aboubakar, Nicholas Ngamaleu, Karl Toko Ekambi, Jean Effala Konguep, Enzo Embosse, Ngadeu Ngadjui, Clinton N’ Jie, Zombo Anguissa, Devis Empassy, Martin Hongla, Collins Fai, Nouhou Tolo

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