By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, Cameroon. 

The intermediate Lions of Cameroon have played a 1-1 draw with the Congo Republic in Brazzaville this Thursday afternoon.

Goals from Thierry Akono Akono for Cameroon and Mouandzibi Judea for Congo was all the over 1500 fans at the Unity Stadium in Concord had to celebrate as both nations shape their skills for the 2020 African Nations Championship.

Cameroon started the on a slow pace lacking the precision with which they played against DR Congo four days earlier.

Congolese right back Mapata Prince had the first real chance of the game in the 20th minute but unfortunately his header went inches wide.

The Congolese came knocking again in the 22nd minutes but brilliant defending from Banga Bidjeme put the ball away from danger.

Thierry Akono Akono won a set piece in the 28th minutes of the game but his delivery of the dead ball wasted the chance to test goalkeeper Ndzila Pavelh.

The best chance of the half fell to Congolese forward Oyoh Rox who benefitted from a poor clearance from Banga Bidjeme but couldn’t hit the target.

Leon Boyomo picked the first booking of the game in the 35th of what was turning out to be a difficult afternoon for the big forward.

Two minutes, later Boyomo showed a glimpse of his brilliance as he dribbled and found his way into the box. Unfortunately his shot was deflected at the expense of a corner.

Unfortunately for team Cameroon, the delivery from Henry Belle was poor and the ball cleared.

Thierry Akono Akono picked a pass from Banbe Thierry, beat two defenders before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of goalkeeper Ndzila Pavelh with 42 minutes gone.

Cameroon’s goal against the run of play galvanized team Cameroon and raised the noise levels from the hundreds of Cameroonian fans in the stands.

The lions took control of the game and dominated possession for the last three minutes of the first half till referee Nguiene Bissila Jean Pierre.

Second half:

The first 10 minutes of the second segment was without any major chance for both sides. 11th minutes into the second half, Mokoumbo Yann placed his forehand on a well taken corner but his header went narrowly wide.

Substitute Louamba Racine of the Republic of Congo was a menace for Cameroon’s left back, Eric Joel Ntieche.

But on all occasions till the hour mark, Banga Bienvenu or Yannick Epane Letizi will be there to bail Cameroon out of danger.

Coach Clement Arroga made three changes;he introduced Pange Lobe, Kooh Jules and Abdoulaye Yahaya for Mbappe Muller, Leon Boyomo and Henri Belle with 63 minutes gone.

The Congolese crowd became louder in the 65th minutes of the game when forward Moukombo Yann tested the goalkeeping skills of Yannick Epane of Cameroon.

The home side monopolized possession. They put Cameroon in their half for the next five minutes forcing goalkeeper Yannick Letizi to make a 68th minute save following a fine close range shot from Binguila Hardy.

With the Congo dominating possession, the Cameroon gaffer opted to add fresh legs in his team. He brought in Dimitri II Embo and Moukoudi Mvogo in place of Thierry Akono Akono and Bambe Thierry as Cameroon protect their lead.

An 88th minute long range strike from substitute Mouandzibi Judea ended in the top corner of goalkeeper Epane Letizi’s net.

The home crowd roared to the equalizer. Mouandzibi was booked for taking off his shirt.

Four minutes of additional time from the match officials didn’t change a thing as the game stayed at one all till full time.

Cameroon return home to face Rwanda on Monday. Congo’s game against DR Congo has been canceled because both nations are in the same pool in the competition.

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