Sports News of Sunday, 29 January 2017
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions have reached the semi-finals of the AFCON 2017 after knocking out tournament favourites Senegal in a thrilling penalty shoot-out following a 0-0 stalemate from both regulation and extra-time in Franceville.
Liverpool star Sadio Mane agonizingly saw his penalty saved by Fabrice Ondoa before Turkey-based Vincent Aboubakar artfully arrowed the final ball into the net to propel the plucky Lions into celebrations.
Cameroon weathered the first half storm from Senegal with the potent strike-force of Mane and Diouf but they defended gallantly.
The Teranga Lions lined up Liverpool star Sadio Mane along with former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf.
Cameroon had Denmark based Christian Bassogog in their starting 11.
Senegal showed flashes of their brilliance with Lazio’s 21-year-old Balde Keita greasing the left flank with a fine combination of pace and artistry.
Diouf lifted a near-post wide in the opening 15 minutes though Mane was waiting in line.
Senegal continued to employ their trademark mobility in midfield, keeping the Indomitable Lions chasing shadow.
Cheikhou Kouyate glanced a header over the bar in the 21st minute. Keita went on one of his usual tirades and weighed a cross which was spilled by the defence. But the West Ham United man headed wide and agonizingly held his head in his hands as Senegal continued to create and waste chances.
Oyongo was booked in the 25th minute for pulling Mane in a tussle in the midfield.
Chances were scarce commodity for Cameroon but Toko flighted their best chance of the half.
Keita Balde turned well inside the box but his final touch was miserable as Senegal pressed harder.
Senegal had a legitimate penalty call ignored when Diouf was bundled down inside the box during a corner kick.
Senegal resumed their dominance after the break but failed to prevail within regulation and extra-time as the tie was decided on penalty shoot-outs.
Both sides expertly converted their kicks until Sadio Mane’s kick was stopped by Ondoa, leaving the opportunity for Aboubakar to seal the berth for the side.