By DEWAH Fabrice TEH
Sports writer, Kick442.Com-Cameroon
Tunisia has defeated Cameroon to emerge champions of the 2021 Men’s Africa Volleyball Championship in Rwanda and extend its record title to eleven.
The Carthage Eagles abruptly terminated the Volleyball Lions run to end a 20 year wait for glory in the competition with a 3 sets to 1 win at the Kigali Arena on Tuesday September 14.
Cameroon began the game showing lots of determination and dominating the first set with powerful hits, coordinated defensive approach and great team spirit to win the first set with an exciting 25 points to 16 win.
The ten time winners and defending champions however made use of their experience, outplaying Captain Ahmed Awal and teammates in an electrifying second set to record a 25-21 point victory over Cameroon.
The North Africans held on to the same momentum in the third set, taking the lead early on and leading almost throughout the segment.
Ben Tara and group managed mounting pressure from the two time winners to win the set 25 points to 21.
Coach Guy Roger Nanga’s boys showed renewed resilience in the fourth segment. Middle blocker Arthur Voukeng and Opposite hitter Yvan Kody all stepped up their game.
The Lions who last won the competition in Port Harcourt Nigeria in 2001, however failed to contain the Carthage Eagles, losing the set 25 points to 16 and yet again falling short of a much awaited glory.
Tunisia confirms superiority
Tuesday’s win inked Tunisia’s superiority status over Cameroon, with the Lions recording their 3rd ever defeat to the North Africans and the second consecutive at the final.
The two time African champions have now lost five finals in the competition, three of them from Tunisia.
Tunisia defeated Cameroon 3 sets to 0 in 1989 in Lagos Nigeria before coming back to pick their second win in a 3 sets to 1 triumph over the Volleyball Lions in Tunis in 2019.
Beautiful Lions ride, massive achievement
Despite the defeat, Cameroon returns home after a beautiful run in the championship.
In six games, the Volleyball Lions picked 5 wins, sweeping aside the likes of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and most recently, Morocco.
The second spot finish also guarantees Cameroon a place in the 2022 Men’s World Volleyball Championship in Russia in August and September next year.
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