• Eto’o, 18 scored a first-half brace and set-up another on his debut for the Under-20 Lions to help Cameroon continue their perfect run and finish the group stage of the Under-20 African Cup of Nations unbeaten.
By Beng Emmanuel
Etienne Eto’o Pineda-son of Africa’s football legend Samuel Eto’o Fils scored a first half brace including a stunning free-kick plus an assist on his debut as Cameroon thrashed Mozambique 4-1 to finish the group stage of the Under-20 African Cup of Nations unbeaten after three wins.
The 18-year-old teenage sensation that was handed his maiden appearances at the continental youth tournament since the start of the competition scored twice in the first half and assisted Kevin Prince Milla in the early stage of second half. Mozambique pulled one back thanks to Gianluca Lorenzoni but Abdoulaye Yahaya’s late goal sealed a win for Cameroon as they head into the quarter-final with firm assurance and confidence.
Cameroon-who became the first nation to qualify for the knock-out stage of the competition before the clash with Mozambique took control of the game when Etienne Eto’o fired past Kimiss Rabelina at the top corner from a free-kick, eight (8) minutes into the fixture. He capped-off a remarkable first half with a brace after converting a penalty kick with utmost confidence and brilliance as the Under-17 Lions took a deserving lead at the break.
Etienne Eto’o then turned to a provider and assisted Kevin-Prince Milla who took up goal scoring duties to net a third goal barely two minutes after the second half resumed. Milla was denied the chance to equally hit a brace when he was replaced by Franck Eric Embe at the 58th minute. He was booked nine minutes before he walk-off the pitch.
The game almost took a different trajectory when Gianluca Lorenzoni scored Mozambique’s first goal in the competition but it was short-lived as Abdoulaye Yahaya restored Cameroon’s unmatched supremacy with a late goal.
It is the biggest win for the reigning UNIFFAC Under-20 champions in the tournament after scoring only once against host Mauritania and Uganda respectively thanks to Sunday Jang Junior who was an unused substitute in their final group encounter last night.
Cameroon, finish top of group A with all nine (9) points in three games. They have conceded only once and have scored six goals. Mozambique on their part exit the competition without a win after losing their previous two games against Uganda (2-0) and Mauritania (2-0).
Coach Ousmanou Christophe and his team will be looking forward to replicate their group stage performance during the quarter-finals of the Under-20 African Cup of Nations. Cameroon is seeking her second continental crown in the competition after emerging victorious in 1995.
In the second group A game played simultaneously, Uganda completed a late comeback from to beat host Mauritania 2-1. The Hippos qualify as runners-up from the group alongside leaders Cameroon.
Under-20 AFCON, Round 3
• Cameroon 3-0 Mozambique
Etienne Eto’o (8min,45+3 minute), Kevin Prince Milla (47min), Abdoulaye Yahaya (87min)/ Gianluca Lorenzoni (85th min)
• Mauritania 1-2 Uganda
Silly Sankhare (40 min Penalty)/Steven Sserwadda (60min), Derrick Kakooza (89th minute Penalty)