AFCON 2021: Cameroon Beat 10-man Comoros 

AFCON 2021: Cameroon Beat 10-man Comoros

By: modernghana.com

Cameroon narrowly beat 10-man Comoros in the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations, despite playing against a side with an outfield player in goal.

After Nadjim Abdou’s early red card, the Indomitable Lions won 2-1 thanks to goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar.

Comoros, on the other hand, will make headlines after scaring the hosts.

Youssouf M’Changama scored a beautiful free-kick, while Chaker Alhadhur, a left-back by trade, performed admirably as a stand-in goalie.

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Cameroon advances to the quarter-finals, where they will meet The Gambia on Saturday.

  • Cameroon handed early advantage

After Salim Ben Boina was ruled out due to injury and Ali Ahamada and Moyadh Ousseini tested positive for Covid-19, debutants Comoros, ranked 132nd in the world, went into the game without a recognized keeper.

After a negative test on the morning of the game, the Indian Ocean islands believed Ahamada would return, but the Confederation of African Football (Caf) said the 30-year-old had not followed its protocols.

The Coelacanthes’ dreams of pulling off a major upset were given a potentially fatal blow when skipper Abdou was sent off in the seventh minute for catching Moumi Ngamaleu on the ankle with his studs.

It was a tackle which seemed clumsy rather than malicious but the potential danger to Ngameleu was there and after a video assistant referee review, Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa sent off former Millwall man Abdou.

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Comoros were already at a significant disadvantage with Alhadhur in goal due to the coronavirus, and following the dismissal, a loud Olembe Stadium in Yaounde fully expected the Indomitable Lions to go on and score a hatful.

Toni Conceicao’s team, however, were unable to make an impact in the face of a superb Cameroonian performance, and it took over 25 minutes for Cameroon to take advantage of their numerical advantage when Toko Ekambi scored following an unselfish assist from Aboubakar.

With 20 minutes remaining, Cameroon captain Aboubakar appeared to have put the game out of reach for the hosts when he sprinted onto a wonderful play from midfield and slotted the ball past Alhadhur for his second goal.

  • Unlikely keeper Alhadhur impresses

1242022103238-rwnyqdcp53-122975329mediaitem122975328Chaker Alhadhur sported a makeshift modified kit, with his number three in tape on the back of his shirt © GETTY IMAGES

Stand-in keeper Alhadhur, who plays in the French second tier for Ajaccio, had an evening to remember and did not seem out of place in goal, at one point charging out to the edge of his area to head clear.

Early in the second half, he made a strong save from Aboubakar’s header and then a quickfire double stop to keep out Aboubakar’s low shot and Ngamaleu’s follow-up.

His efforts brought broad smiles to the faces of his teammates and he was congratulated at full-time by his opposite number Andre Onana.

Given the 82-place differential between the sides in the rankings and Abdou’s ejection, Onana had a lot more to accomplish than he should have.

He made a number of crucial saves to keep his team in the game, but there was nothing he could do about M’Changama’s spectacular goal, which will be a candidate for goal of the tournament.

With 10 minutes to go, Comoros won a free-kick 35 yards away, and M’Changama stepped up and hit a wonderful shot into the upper left-hand corner, which was no more than the islanders deserved for their dedication.

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  1. Ibrahim, I’m proud of you. I pray you reach where ever you want to 🙏🏽🤲🏽📿 I hope to see you…

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