Cameroon came from a goal down to beat record African champions Egypt 2-1 in the final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.
Goals from Nicolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboubakar ensured that the Indomitable Lions cancel Mohamed Elneny’s first half goal to win their fifth African title.
Egypt had won Group D and had beaten Morocco and Burkina Faso – the eventual third-place winners – prior to the final.
Their opponents had moved out of their group as Group A runners-up, devouring Senegal’s Teranga Lions and Ghana’s Black Stars in the knock-out stage.
The Pharaohs were favourites going into the final, having conceded only once while the Cameroonian defence had been breached a number of times including Guinea-Bissau’s stunner in their second game.
The Egyptians made their favourites tag count when on the 22nd minute Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny beat Fabrice Ondoa at the near post, much to the Sevilla goalie’s chagrin.
It got worse for the Lions when Sochaux’s Aldophe Teikeu suffered a groin injury and had to force Hugo Broos into an arbitrary substitution.
Lyon’s Nkoulou came on but it did not change the scoreline at the break.
A rejuvenated Cameroonian side in the second half turned the tide on the Pharaohs and they made that count in the 59th minute when substitute Nkoulou rose higher to head home the equaliser.
Broos also brought on Aboubakar, who prosecuted the Lions’ haunt of the Egyptian defence.
And it paid off with a minute to end the match – played in front of fans who filled the Stade de l’Amitie – as the Besiktas attacker controlled a midfield cross on his chest and sent in a shot at the left side of 44-year-old Essam El Hadary.
Not even a last minute set-piece would give the Pharaohs any lifeline as Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe ended proceedings after that freekick.
Cameroon captain Benjamin Moukandjo was named Man of the Match with his teammate Christian Bassogog – who scored against Ghana in the semi-final – named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Coincidentally, Cameroon hosts the next edition of the tournament in 2019.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana