• Cameroon produced a stunning comeback to beat two time champions the DRC and reach their first ever semi-final of the CHAN.
By Beng Emmanuel
The Intermediate Lions of Cameroon have advanced to the semi-finals of the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) after a scintillating comeback to beat the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-1 at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.
It is the Lions’ first victory at the 50,000 capacity stadium in an international football game since it was constructed.
Former Esperance of Tunis of frontman Yannick Ndjeng cancelled Makabi Lilepo’s 21st minute opener before Coton Sport skipper Felix Oukine capped a sensational comeback with deflected strike to seal a deserved win for the Intermediate Lions of Cameroon.
The host didn’t start off strong but later faded form midway into the first half despite being slow to come out of their opponent’s traps. They conceded an early goal from a well-orchestrated corner kick which completely left the Cameroonian defence stranded.
Ngong A Tiati missed a great chance to level for Cameroon after he rose highest to head Ndjeng’s right cross over the woodwork. The Lions streamed up front at almost all occasion and increased the tempo to see off a spirited fight from the Congolese who held firmly to their lead.
They were rewarded when DR congo’s keeper Matampi Ngumbi failed to keep out Felix Oukine’s corner kick which enabled Yannick Ndjeng level for the Lions. Felix Oukine then took up goal scoring duties and fired Cameroon in front when his deflected shot went pass the Congolese defence and ended up at the far edge of the post.
The Democratic Republic of Congo slightly improved during the second half and were more determined to overturn their first half misfortunes around. Although they created panic in the Cameroonian defence their task was made harder by a more determined side that was on the verge of a historic qualification.
Despite leading the game, Cameroon were unsatisfied with their lead and continued to create several unused openings. Ako Assomo missed the glorious chance to seal the win but his deflected shot hit the post before it was cleared away.
DR Congo could hardly create clear-cut goal scoring chances. The best effort was Jeremie Basilua’s curled shot which left Haschou Kerrido unperturbed. The two time CHAN winners were less inspiring and lack the best combination to unlock Cameroon’s defence for the second time.
It is the third time Cameroon have beaten the Democratic Republic of Congo at the CHAN. The Intermediate Lions are looking to clinch their first ever silverware at the continental competition reserved exclusively for home based players in their fourth stint.
Cameroon joins Mali to qualify for the semi-finals. The Eagles beat Congo Republic 5-4 on penalty shot-outs after a goalless draw at regular time.
Two other slots available and will be decided on Sunday. Defending champions Morocco face Zambia at the Reunification Stadium in Douala, while Guinea challenge Rwanda in Limbe.
DR Congo 1-2 Cameroon
Man of the Match Award: Ako Assomo (CMR)