Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Cameroon in African Cup of Nations final

Published:Friday | February 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Cameroon’s Benjamin Moukandjo (centre) celebrates with his teammates their 2-0 victory in the African Cup of Nations semi-final against Ghana at the Stade de Renovation, in Franceville, Gabon, yesterday.

FRANCEVILLE, Gabon (AP):

Cameroon set up an African Cup of Nations final against Egypt and inflicted another painful experience on Ghana with a 2-0 win in the second semi-final yesterday.

Defender Michael Ngadeu scored the first in the 72nd minute, pouncing on poor Ghana defending when the Ghanaians looked more likely to score.

Christian Bassogog rounded off a counterattack in injury time, running through on Ghana's goal unchallenged to seal Cameroon's place in the final as a desperate Ghana threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser.

It sent Cameroon through to their sixth African Cup final but first since 2008, and Bassogog's goal prompted every member of Cameroon's squad to race off the bench and celebrate on the field at Stade de Franceville. One of them booted the ball high into the stands in delight.

"It is a dream. We are going to the final now," Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said. "At some times we did suffer, but it is a team that doesn't stop. It goes until the final minute."

Cameroon, winners of the African Cup four times, but not since 2002, will play record seven-time champions Egypt in the title decider on Sunday in the Gabonese capital of Libreville.

 

BREAK THROUGH

 

For Ghana, often tipped for the title or among the top contenders, it was another miserable experience at the African championship.

Avram Grant's team threw everything at Cameroon in the last 20 minutes after Ngadeu's goal but just couldn't break through. Even the introduction from the bench of captain Asamoah Gyan, who wasn't fully recovered from injury to start, didn't work.

Ghana have not won the African championship for 35 years and have now lost two finals and four semi-finals in the last six tournaments.

"We wanted so much to be in the final," Grant said. "We did everything to be in the final. We dominated the game, especially the second half ... The first attack, they scored. It is very annoying.

"I am not happy, because we were the better side."