Triumph for Cameroon after a thrilling end to AFCON

Triumph for Cameroon after a thrilling end to AFCON
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations witnessed a sensational final between Cameroon and Egypt.
3 min read
06 Feb, 2017
Cameroon celebrates after winning the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations [Getty]
After an emotional semi-final against Burkina Faso, Egypt arrived for the Africa Cup of Nations final in Gabon ready to bring home it's eighth African title. Unfortunately for them, this evening will be remembered as the most dramatic night of Egyptian football in past years.

During anthems, you could see the depth of preparation and determination on each player's face.

Egypt opened the match the same way as all its others in the tournament – strong on defence. Cameroon on the hand was determined and dangerous.

Egypt woke up a bit when coach Hector Cúper made a change between Mohamed Salah and Amr Warda’s positions. Salah became the lone striker and Warda went to play on the flank.

Mohamed El-Nenny, who returned to Egypt’s first eleven after his injury, was inaccurate in his passes, and the team looked very vulnerable. Cameroon held the possession.

Into the 22nd minute, Egypt broke the goal. El-Nenny finished a beautiful attack that started with Hull City’s Ahmed El-Mohamedy, moving to Warda, who passed to Salah who found the Basel midfielder, finally striking into the upper net of Fabrice Ondoua – 1-0 Egypt, and the dream of the eighth African title was even closer.

The game got into a great pace but Cameroon sensed the Egyptians were not ready.

Cameroon almost caught Essam El-Hadary off guard – a bad push by the veteran goalkeeper almost turned to a dangerous chance by Christian Bassogog, but he shot the ball wide and out.

Along the tournament the stands were empty but the final match enjoyed a full stadium with a great atmosphere.

Tunisian fans joined their Egyptian counterparts and cheered for the North African representative.

Near the half-time whistle, Sebstian Siani tried to surprise El-Hadary, but his shot went way above the crossbar.

Cameroon wasn’t focused in their last move.

Egypt after half-time

The second half was opened with a great Cameroonian pressure on the Egyptian goal. Egypt was struggling to develop attacks, instead kicking balls away in hysteria.

The 56th minute saw Cameroon get their well-deserved goal.

Benjamin Moukandjo found Nicolas N’kolou, the sub for injured Agogo. A powerful header brought the Indomitable Lions back into the game – 1-1 at the Stade d'Angondjé in Libreville.

Salah tried several times to trick the Cameroonian defenders, but they stopped him again and again.

Cameroon attacked Egypt like a lion chasing gazelles.

Ramadan Sobhi who replaced Mahmoud Trezeguet couldn’t fill the defensive role Cúper expected him to do. Meanwhile, Moukandjo missed a super chance to finish the game fifteen minutes to the 90 minutes mark, but his shot went up and out.

Into the 88th minute, Cameroon gave Egypt the death shot. Aboubakar, who replaced Tambe, got a long ball, stopped on the chest, dribbled above the defender and finished a beautiful volley in. A heartbreaking goal for Cameroon!


Cameroon looked ready to triumph the African title. Egypt got a final chance to equalise with a free kick, but El-Nenny sent it too wide.

The referee's whistle signalled the end of the game.

Egypt lost the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. Hector Cúper lost yet another final in his long list of defeats in his career. El-Hadary was unable to celebrate his fifth AFCON and Mohamed Salah, El-Nenny and friends will try to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while waiting for the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon.

Egypt: Essam El Hadary; Ahmed Fathy; Ahmed Hegazi; Ali Gabr; Ahmed El Mohamady; Abdalla El Said; Mohamed Salah; Mohamed Elneny (goal 22'); Trézéguet (sub 66’-Sobhi); Tarek Hamed; Amr Warda; Coach: H. Cúper

Cameroon: F. Ondoa; A. Teikeu (sub 31’-N’Kolou goal 59’); A. Oyongo; M. Ngadeu-Ngadjui; C. Fai; A. Sutchuin Djoum; S. Siani; B. Moukandjo; J. Zoua (sub 90’-Mandjeck); C. Bassogog; R. Tambe(sub 46’- Aboubakar goal 88’); Coach: H. Broos

Uri Levy runs the popular football blog BabaGol, which covers football and politics focusing on the Middle East. Follow him on Twitter, and read his blog here