Cameroon coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile has hailed DR Congo for their tough display despite inflicting a quarter-final defeat on the two-time winner the African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Saturday.
The host nation secured a comeback 2-1 victory over the Leopards at the Japoma Stadium in Douala to secure their place in the last four of the tournament designed exclusively for home-based players.
The Leopards let an early lead slip allowing the Indomitable Lions to hit back and win the highly anticipated match at the iconic stadium.
The two-time champions demonstrated their early desire to win the match and they took the lead in 22nd minute through Makabi Lilepo’s header silenced the home crowd.
Cameroon’s experienced striker Yannick Ndjeng took advantage of a clanger by goalkeeper Ley Matampi to equalise seven minutes later.
Matampi attempted to fist away a long ball in his area but it fell gracefully to Ndjeng who had an easy work of tapping it in.
The home side sealed their win in the 42nd minute when Felix Oukine Tcheoude’s strike took a wicked deflection to beat Matampi to send them into the semis.
Mpile praised the DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge for their fighting display and revealed their strategy that led to their victory over the former champions.
“I would like to say thank you to Florent because it was a great match,” Cameroon coach Ndtoungou Mpile said in the post-match press conference on Saturday.
“We had to find possibilities to counter this team from the DR Congo which has experienced players.
“I think that with great emphasis we managed to prevent them from reaching our goal area. But all in all, I think it was a great match and I congratulate the DR Congo team.”
Cameroon will face either Morocco or Zambia in Wednesday's semi-final at the Limbe Stadium.