AFCON 2017: Cameroon Put On Indomitable Performance, Roar To Fifth Title

LIBREVILLE, GABON - FEBRUARY 05: SÉBASTIEN CLOVIS SIANI holds the trophy as Cameroon celebrate winning the CAN 2017 FINAL between Cameroon and Egypt at Stade de L'Amitie on February 05, 2017 in Libreville, Gabon. (Photo by Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images)
AFCON 2017: Cameroon Put On Indomitable Performance, Roar To Fifth Title

We last left off in our coverage of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations at the quarterfinal stage. We resume and complete our coverage with a final look at the closing stages of this tournament that determined the final piece to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Russia puzzle.

In the first semifinal that took place at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, it was a tense arm wrestle between Paulo Duarte’s Stallions of Burkina Faso and Hector Cuper’s Pharoahs of Egypt, still the most accomplished team at this tournament. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring in the 66th minute before Aristide Bance leveled proceedings on 73 minutes. With the match tied 1-1 after 120 minutes, the contest went to penalties. And with the exception of Abdallah Said, all of Egypt’s spot kickers converted with the Pharaohs advancing to the final 4-3, Amr Warda’s conversion the difference.

Over at the Stade de Franceville in Franceville, it was a more assertive go-about for Hugo Broos’s Indomitable Lions of Cameroon as they sunk Avram Grant’s Black Stars of Ghana 2-0 on goals from Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (72′) and Christian Bassogog (90′ + 3′). Cameroon would advance to the final, which would take place on Feb. 5 at the Stade de l’Amitie.

As for Stade de Port-Gentil in Port-Gentil, it hosted the third place playoff, in which Burkina Faso won 1-0 on a late show late mail goal from Alain Traore (89′). There is no question that Grant’s situation as Ghana manager is not a very good one and unless they are banking on qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup under his stewardship, the Ghana Football Association may be thinking about a change.

But let’s tip our hat out to Cameroon, dear readers on The Mighty TST. They could do no wrong as the fans in red, green and gold pounded out their victory song through passionate voice, and rhythmic percussion with intoxicating vibrations in a form of a 2-1 come-from-behind victory for their fifth Africa Cup of Nations title.

After Mohamed Elneny opened up proceedings for Egypt 22 minutes in, the Indomitable Lions lived up to their fearsome moniker in the second half, roaring, tearing, growling, prowling and outright howling…before pouncing on the trophy, their eyes on the prize and grabbing the prize on full-blooded battle cries and goals from Nicolas Nkoulou (60′) and Vincent Aboubakar (89′). Benjamin Moukandjo won the most valuable player, and the honor will surely help his confidence as he returns to France to save his club, Bernard Casoni’s FC Lorient from imminent relegation.

To close our AFCON coverage, here’s some more tidbits from our good mates…at Squawka.

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Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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