Cameroon sink Senegal
Cameroon have something to show for their All Africa Games campaign, after the defending champions beating Senegal in the third-place play-off.
Goalkeeper Jean Efala was the hero, first saving a penalty in normal time and then denying Dame Diop in the shoot out as Cameroon won 5-4 on penalties. The two teams were tied at 1-1 after normal time.
The match, played at the Maxaquene Stadium, on Friday afternoon, saw a typical bruising encounter between the two West African rivals with neither team holding an outright advantage.
In the 11th minute Cameroon caught the Senegalese defence napping and Justin Mengolo got in behind his marker, Ibrahima Ba, and was unlucky not to give Cameroon the lead when his shot cannoned down off the crossbar.
Emmanuel Gomis then took control of the midfield and began to prize open the Cameroon defence. In the 16th minute he released Oumar Niasse on goal, but Efala raced off his line to save bravely at the striker’s feet.
On 19 minutes Mengolo once again found himself at the other end of the Senegal defence and he fired in a dipping half volley but Ousmane Mane was equal to the task getting his fingers to the ball to deflect it for a corner.
The action swung back to the other side of the field and Gomis sent Diop free into the Cameroon 18-yard area. Efala committed himself and caught the trailing leg of the Senegalese Number 10.
Referee Mohamadou Keita pointed to the spot and booked Efala for his trouble, but the Cameroon keeper made up for his mistake brilliantly saving Gomis’ effort.
Cameroon took full advantage of the let off, when they took the lead two minutes in the second period.
Germain Tiko, ineffective down the wing in the first half, broke down the right flank and threaded through a teasing cross which Mane could only palm into he path of Douglas Djika, who accepted the gift to fire the ball into the roof of the net – his double somersault celebration expressing the delight in the Cameroon camp.
Despite the setback, Senegal kept at their task and were finally rewarded when Gomis’ long range effort left Efala stranded in the 80 minute.
Both teams had chances to seal it in the final 10 minutes but could not find the winning goal and the game had to be decided from the penalty spot. No extra time is played during the third-place play-off.
The first six penalties were converted but the nerves got the better of Diop and his weak effort was easily saved by Efala giving Cameroon the advantage, which they sealed when Stephane Namedji scored the winning penalty.
Senegal: Mane, Thioune, Soumare, E. Diop, Ba, Gomis, D. Diop, Badji, Gueye, Niasse (Coly 71’), Dio
Cameroon: Efala, Ibrahim, Tembeng, Nguemaleu, Lobe, Mengolo , Tiko , Essengue, Namedji, Djika , Mbida (Nformi 57’)
13 Sept South Africa 0 (6) Senegal 0(5) Maxaquene
14 Sept Cameroon 0 Ghana 1 Maxaquene
16 Sept Senegal 1 (5) Cameroon1 (4) Maxaquene
17 Sept South Africa v Ghana National Stadium
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