Mohamed Salah of Egypt celebrates a victory with teammates during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Semifinal match between Cameroon and Egypt held at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon on 03 February 2022 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Thursday Feb 03, 2022. 22:50
Egypt emerged 3-1 winners over Cameroon on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final match at the Stade Omnisport Paul Biya in Yaounde on Thursday night.
As a result, the Pharaohs secured their place in the final where they will lock horns with Senegal on Sunday, while the Indomitable Lions will face Burkina Faso in the third-place playoff match on Saturday.
The Indomitable Lions controlled the match from the start with André-Frank Zambo Anguissa pulling the strings from midfield for the tournament hosts against the Pharaohs.
Toni Conceição’s side looked dangerous from aerial balls with goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal forced to come out and deal well with a cross from Karl Toko Ekambi which was meant for Vincent Aboubaker.
Abou Gabal, who is nicknamed Gabaski, was beaten in the 17th minute, when Aboubaker connected well with a corner-kick, but the ball hit the woodwork as Egypt’s poor marking was exposed.
Anguissa also came close to scoring when his flicked effort narrowly missed the target and the score was 0-0 at the interval following a first-half which was dominated by Cameroon.
The Pharaohs were the better side after the restart following their half-time team talk with coach Carlos Queiroz. Mostafa Mohamed forced keeper Andrea Onana into a save from a free-kick.
Egypt should have taken the lead when Mohamed Salah intercepted a poor back pass from Martin Hongla, but Ajax Amsterdam shot-stopper Onana did brilliantly to stop the Liverpool FC superstar.
This served as a wake-up call for the Indomitable Lions. Toko Ekambi got the faintest of flicks from Moumi Ngamaleu’s free-kick and Gabaski made a smart save at his near-post.
The two teams were unable to find a late winning goal in the latter stages of the encounter which saw Queiroz being sent off and the match ended in a 0-0 draw in regulation time and extra-time followed.
The best chance in extra-time went to Egypt after some great work by Ramadan Sobhi inside Cameroon’s box as the skillful forward dribbled past his marker with ease.
However, somehow Sobhi’s cross evaded three Pharaohs players in close proximity and the match had to be decided by a penalty shootout after a 0-0 stalemate on the night.
Egypt went on to win 3-1 on penalties with Abou Gabal proving to be the North African giants’ hero as he saved two spot-kicks.
Egypt won 3-1 on penalties
Cameroon: Onana, Collins, Gouet (Lea 80′), Ngadjui, Ngamaleu (Njie 86′), Tolo, Anguissa, Hongla (J. Onana 108′), Castelletto (Moukoudi 99′), Ekambi (Bassogog 98′), Aboubakar.
Egypt: Gabal, Kamal (Ashour 85′), Abdelmoneim, Hamdy, El Fotouh, Hamdi, Elneny (Lasheen 86′), El-Solia (Trezeguet 46′), Mostafa (Sherif 105′, Zizo 118′)), Salah, Marmoush (R. Sobhi 63′).