Cameroon eliminate valiant Comoros

African Football

Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon progressed to the quarter-finals with a 2-1 win over Comoros on Monday night.

The Indomitable Lions recalled Jean-Charles Castelletto and Martin Hongla, while defender Chaker Alhadhur kept goal for the Comoros who had been blighted by Covid-19.

Les Coelacantes were dealt a blow six minutes in after the referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to give Nadjim Abdou a red card for a foul across midfield.

Cameroon wasted a great chance to take the lead when Karl Toko Ekambi dropped wide to the area 17 minutes in to get onto a penetrating pass only to smash wide of the near corner.

The Olympique Lyon man rectified the missed chance 12 minutes thereafter with a snap finish from close-range that trickled slowly into the net as Comoros fluffed their lines.

Comoros went inches close to the equaliser following a teasing strike outside the area by Ahmed Mogni, but it was repelled by goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Les Coelacantes were put on the back-foot minutes in the second half, as countless attempts from in particular Vincent Aboubakar and Moumi Ngamaleu came through but Alhadhur was on high alert.

The former eventually struck the host nation’s second goal with a close-range finish after a 15th minute spell following a through ball minutes after he had a goal disallowed for offside.

With Stephane Bahoken and James Lea Siliki in off the bench, the Comoros got a lifeline in the last ten minutes through a sumptuous free-kick by Youssouf M’Changama.

The Indomitable Lions were close to restore their two-goal advantage as the clocked ticked away, but Alhadhur parried thus watched the host advanced to the last eight.

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Gambia defeated Guinea 1-0 to advance to the quarter-finals in their debut Africa Cup of Nations campaign on Monday evening.

Naby Keita’s suspension saw Amadou Diawara handed the captain’s armband for Guinea, while a late withdrawal forced Gambia to hand Dawda Ngum his first start of the tournament.

Guinea nearly had the perfect start from a floating delivery into the area off a corner-kick minutes after kickoff, but Mohamed Bayo went wide from the tightest of angles.

The Scorpions started to show up a little over 12 minutes and a ferocious shot outside the area from Musa Barrow brought their opposite number to sharp reflexes.

Although, the Sily National witnessed a golden chance go astray through a close-range attempt by Bayo eight minutes to the break from a smart through ball.

Tom Saintfiet’s men secured the breakthrough inside the midway point of the second half after Barrow squeezed through two challenges to find the bottom-corner.

Guinea appeared to have drawn level minutes later through a first-time finish at the far post from Ibrahima Conte, but he was flagged for offside with Yusupha Nje introduced by the Scorpions.

As the Sily National probed a reply, the Scorpions were reduced to ten players in the last three minutes after Nje saw a red card for elbowing an opponent.

Guinea maintained dominance in the closing exchanges and saw Conte denied twice by the woodwork before he got his marching orders following a second bookable offence.

In the end, the Scorpions continued their impressive debut campaign in the tournament with the victory that ensured progression to the quarter-finals.

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