By Beng Emmanuel
Defending champions Angola clinched their record-extending 14 title after beating host Cameroon 25-15 in the final of the Senior Women’s handball African Cup of Nations on Friday at the Multi-Purpose Sport Complex.
The handball Lionesses were condemned to their first defeat in the tournament as the much desired trophy eluded them for fourth time after 1979, 1987 and 2004.
Cameroon began the game with some heap of confidence scoring the first point of the game. But they fell behind suddenly to a vibrant and positive Angola side.
The host were inexplicably wasteful and lacked their usual creativity. They wasted several chances needed to keep their hopes of claiming a historic continental silverware.
However, the handball Lionesses continued to pile more pressure to reverse the situation. But Angola who had a more solid defence took a 14-7 advantage at halftime.
Cameroon showcased great quality and confidence in the second half. They addressed some of their frailties but were unable to reduce the deficit.
Abiabakon Berthe-who won the Woman of the match Award produced some important saves for Cameroon but her fellow mates were unable to score so as to avoid a crushing defeat. Angola goalkeepers made thing even harder for them. They frequently repelled must of their threats with fantastic saves as well.
With all these, a possible comeback for the title hopefuls looked beyond the team at full time as they lost 25-15.
It is the second time Cameroon has lost to Angola in the final after 2004. They have now lost four finals in their history.
The Lionesses are however qualified for the Women’s World Handball Championship in Spain this year. They join champions Angola, Tunisia and Congo as Africa’s representatives.
Eleven (11) teams took part in this year’s Senior Women’s handball African Cup of Nations from June 8-18. Only Algeria failed to participate after withdrawing from the competition due to Covid-19.
Senegal will host the 25th edition in 2022.
Third nation: Tunisia
Team of the tournament
Best Goalkeeper: Fadio Omrani (Tunisia)
Best Left Winger: Paulo Helena(Angola)
Best Right Winger: Dapina Raissa(Senegal)
Best left back: Guialo Isabel(Angola)
Best right back: Ekoh Karishma(Cameroon)
Best mid-Centre: Sondes Kerkeni(Tunisia)
Best Pivot: Kassoma Albertina(Angola)
Best Player of the competition: Guialo Isabel(Angola)