This is Geremie Sorel Njitap (left) and Celestine BABAYARO (right)

By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer,

Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are the second most successful national team in Africa with five (5) African Cup of Nations (AFCON) titles behind Pharaohs of Egypt (7 titles).

Indomitable Lions of Cameron with 2017 AFCON Trophy

The interesting aspect of Cameroon’s triumph is the fact that three out of their five cup triumphs at continental level came after wins over Super Eagles of Nigeria in the final.

Still in CoronaVirus (Covid-19) pandemic season, looked back at how Cameroon took three AFCON titles against Super Eagles of Nigeria.

(Cote d’Ivoire 1984)
Drawn in Group A, Cameroon started their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Egypt. They responded with a 4-1 victory over Togo, before defeating hosts Cote d’Ivoire 2-0 to reach the semifinals. They needed a penalty shootout to overcome Algeria 5-4 after a goalless draw in normal time and reach the final for the first time in their history. Despite falling behind as early as the tenth minute against Nigeria, Rene Brice N’djea, Theophile Abega and Ernest Lottin-Ebongue each scored as the Indomitable Lions won 3-1 to taste their first ever AFCON glory.
Coach: Radivoje Ognjanovic (Yugoslavia)
Final: Cameroon 3-1 Nigeria
Top Scorer: Theophile Abega (3 goals)

(Morocco 1988)
After losing the 1986 final to hosts Egypt on penalties, Cameroon had their second AFCON title in Morocco. They were drawn in Group B where they started with a 1-0 avenging win over holders Egypt, with Legendary Roger Milla scoring the winner. Milla scored again in the 1-1 draw against Nigeria, before settling for a goalless draw with Kenya to reach the semis, where they faced hosts Morocco. Cyrille Makanaky scored 12 minutes from time as Cameroon reached the final for the third time in a row.

Picture shows the Nigerian Eguavon being checked by Kunde. Lucking behind the referee is Makanaki while Kana Biyik is behind him.The referee is Idrissa Saar                    (Data credit Barrister Ashutantang)

This time they needed an Emmanuel Kunde goal from the spot to defeat Nigeria 1-0 and win the AFCON title for the second time.
Coach: Claude Le Roy (France)
Final: Cameroon 1-0 Nigeria
Top Scorer: Roger Milla (2 goals)

(Ghana / Nigeria 2000)
Cameroon claimed their third AFCON title when Ghana and Nigeria co-hosted the tournament in 2000. Placed in Group A, the Indomitable Lions started their campaign with a 1-1 draw with hosts Ghana in the opening game, followed by an emphatic 3-0 victory over Cote d’Ivoire. Despite losing 1-0 to Togo, they still won the group on goal difference to reach the quarterfinals, where they defeated Algeria 2-1. A Patrick M’boma brace and one from Samuel Eto’o saw off Tunisia 3-0 in the semis, as Cameroon reached the final to face the co-host Nigeria in Lagos.

Nigeria’s Austin To Jay Okocha in action against Pierre Wome during 2000 AFCON Final Vs Cameroon

Eto’o and M’boma scored again, but Nigeria came from behind courtesy goals from Rafael Chukwu Ndukwu and a fantastic strike from outside the box by Austin Jay Jay Okocha as full time ended in a 2-2 draw. But it was Cameroon who laughed last after prevailing 4-3 on penalties.
Coach: Pierre Lechantre (France)
Final: Cameroon 2-2 (4-3 on penalties) Nigeria
Top Scorer: Samuel Eto’o, Patrick M’boma (4 goals)

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