By Beng Emmanuel
Guinea scored two superb first half goals to beat host Cameroon 2-0 at the Reunification Stadium in Douala on Saturday and finish third of the 2020 African Nations Championship.
It is their best ever finish in their third stint at the continental football tournament reserved exclusively for home based players. They finished fourth in 2016 but could not go beyond the group stages two years later when Morocco staged the event in 2018.
Playmaker Morlaye Sylla had his strike defected to the roof of the net to put the Sylie National in-front before Mamadouba Bangoura sealed the win in extra-time of the first half with a fantastic finish.
Guinea needed only nine (9) minutes to take the lead. Morlaye Sylla opened the scoring from a brilliant solo goal. He raced past Cameroon’s defence and fired from the edge of the box which was deflected into the nets by Etame Ngombe.
Felix Oukine tried to level from a free-kick but screwed his long range effort wide. The Intermediate Lions of Cameroon almost levelled minutes later but Man Ykre failed to equalise from a tap-in after a scramble in Guinea’s defence.
The host struggled to recover when Moussa Camara failed to keep on Man Ykre lop attempt but Abdoulaye Camera chased it out to prevent an eventual damage. After enduring enormous pressure from Cameroon, Guinea responded with brilliance when Mohahamed Coumbassa set-up Mamadouba Bangoura to double their advantage with the last kick of the first half.
The second half produced more fireworks. Cameroon continued to dig deep for an equalizer. Richard Abanda superbly-curled low drive slightly went wide from a free-kick. There were moments of panic in Guinea’s defence one of which almost cost them but was cleared off the line by Abou Mangue.
Coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile introduced Brian Soga and Joel Ngon A Tiati in place of Bertrand Junior and Man Ykre to offer more offensive options. They both began to have immediate impact but couldn’t beat Moussa Camara despite the urge to make a difference.
Cameroon fluency caught cold. Out of twelve shots they managed only three on target. Despite the litany of goal scoring chances they suffered their second successive defeat conceding six goals in their last two games. The Central African Nation finished fourth at the CHAN which is also their best finish since their first appearance in 2011.
Man of the Match Award: Morlaye Sylla (Guinea)
Guinea 2-0 Cameroon
Morlaye Sylla-9min, Mamadouba Bangoura 45+1