By Afeseh Apong
▪️Toko Ekambi scored twice in the second half to secure a win for Cameroon
▪️ Gambia’s fairy tale AFCON debut ends.
The indomitable lions of Cameroon have beaten the Scorpions of Gambia two nil, to book their place in the semi final of the 33rd edition of the Africa Nations Cup.
The Scorpions of Gambia were making just their first appearance at the AFCON quarter final, but had to make do without the injured Ablie Jallow, Sheik Sibi, Lamin Jallow and the suspended Yusupha Njie. They however welcomed back Noah Sonko, Saidy Janko and Ibou Touray, who missed their eighth final game against Guinea due to food poisoning.
A quiet start to the game saw little chances created in the first quarter, as the Scorpions adopted a more defensive approach to the game.
Gambia’s Noah Sonko got the first booking of the game at the 22nd minute following a foul on Vincent Aboubakar and the closet Cameroon came was at the 29 minute, when Fai Collins’ screamer hit the side netting.
Gambia’s captain Pa Modou Jagne saw yellow for his tackle on Moumi Ngamaleu, shortly before goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye denied Aboubakar’s header from point blank.
Goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye got into the referee’s books for time wasting, as the first segment ended nil nil.
It took Cameroon just five second half minutes to go in front, when Karl Toko Ekambi headed in Fai Collins’ right footed cross.
Gambia made three substitutions, with Ebrima Darboe, Modou Barrow and Ebrima Colley coming to replace Saidy Janko, Pa Modou Jagne and Muhammed Badomosi.
It was Cameroon who doubled their lead at the 57 minutes through Toko Ekambi, who tapped in Martin Hongla’s pass.
Cameroon’s coach Antonio Conceição subbed off two goals hero Toko Ekambi for Clinton Njie, while Pierre Kunde Malong came on for Martin Hongla.
Olivier Mbaizo later replaced Fai Collins who appeared to have picked a niggle, while Christian Bassogog and Yvan Neyou also added few minutes in the tank, as Zambo Anguissa and Moumi Ngamaleu went off.
Clinton Njie missed a golden opportunity to kill the game, as he failed to beat Baboucarr Gaye in a one on one.
The indomitable lions have therefore booked their place for the semi final, and will face the winner of the game Egypt versus Morocco.
For the Scorpions of Gambia, it was a first AFCON experience with lots of positives to write home about.
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