Cameroon qualified for the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations by eliminating Gambia (2-0) on Saturday in Douala.
Silent in the first period, the Indomitable Lions took the measure of the Scorpions thanks to Karl Toko-Ekambi, double goalscorer of the match (50th then 57th), and will face the winner of the meeting between Egypt and Morocco, disputed Sunday (4:00 p.m.).
Cameroon had long seemed entangled in the trap of the Scorpions, who had shown since the start of the competition, an outstanding defensive organisation, thwarting their opponent.
Before the football icon Samuel Eto’o, double winner of the AFCON with the Indomitable Lions, and now at the head of the Cameroon Football Federation, Toni Conceiçao’s men seemed paralysed by the pressure at the start of the match.
It was only in a quarter of an hour into the game that the Indomitable Lions proved dangerous, through their captain Vincent Aboubakar, kicker of an acrobatic backheel that was finally countered (14th).
The top scorer in the competition (six goals) tried his luck again, diving just in front of his opponent’s defender at the penalty spot to place his head, but the frame narrowly escaped (31st).
He almost opened the scoring, with a new header, this time stopped almost miraculously by Gayé, at close range. A new big parade from the goalkeeper who plays at FC Rot-Weiß Koblenz, in the German fourth division.
But while Aboubakar was trying, in vain, it was Olympique Lyonnais striker Toko-Ekambi who emerged to put on his savior suit: on yet another cross from Collins Fai, he placed an unstoppable cross-head ( 50th), before doubling the bet, with the right foot this time, on a cross from Martin Hongla (57th).
The Japoma stadium was filled with joy and excitement from Cameroonians who were very proud of the indomitable lions.
After the match, Toko-Ekambi wanted to “pay tribute to the victims” of the stampede which caused the death of eight people on Monday in Yaoundé, before the match of the Indomitable Lions against Comoros.
Unlike previous victories against Tunisia (1-0) and Guinea (1-0), the Scorpions failed to be dangerous on the counter, surely lacking energy.
Their unexpected journey therefore ends in the quarter-finals, for their first participation in the AFCON.
Host country of the competition, Cameroon reaches the semi-finals and can still claim to win its sixth continental crown.