Cameroon have opened their campaign in the ongoing U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a defeat to two-time champions Mali. The West Africans edged the holders 2-0 in a tight contest this Thursday at the 19 May 1956 stadium in Annaba, Algeria.
Late goals from Mahamoud Barry and Mamadou Doumbia were enough to seal the win and help Mali make it four wins in a row for Mali in AFCON meetings against Cameroon. It was the latter’s second goal in two games in the competition.
Mali dominated Cameroon throughout the game and were rewarded for their persistent by the score.
Barry capitized on a poor defensive organization to beat goalkeeper Junior Lopez in his near post four minutes from full-time before Doumbia added the second with a wonderful strike from outside the box in additional time.
The late goals were enough for the Malians to back home all three points.
The win makes it two in two games for Mali that beat Burkina Faso by the same score in the opening fixture. Soumaila Coulibaly’s side follow Senegal and Morocco into the quarters with a perfect record so far.
Cameroon looked lively in the opening moments of the first segment of the game forcing the Malian to defend deep in their half of the pitch.
Dorinel Yondjo Matah and Harouna Djibrinne were lively upfront for Serge Mimpo’s Cameroon – causing a number of difficulties for the Malians using their quick movements and combination with Fi Akamba and Ayuk Cosmas.
Matah had a penalty shout midway into the fits segment but Moroccan female Referee in charge of the game waved play on.
Doumbia hit the back of the Cameroon net after a shoulder challenge helped him recover possession from Cameroon custodian Junior Lopez Abou, fortunately for the young goalkeeper the referee called for a foul in the build up.
Harouna failed to connect with a great cross into the Malian box that was missed by Bourama Kone in goal for Mali.
Ange Martial Tia came close to punish the defending champions with a quick Malian counter but his finish went narrowly wide.
The fits chance of the second segment fell to Harouna whose shot from outside the box hit the side netting.
There were chances at both ends of the pitch but it wasn’t the best day in the office for the forwards on duty.
Barry scored the first goal of the game in the 86th minute before departing to watch Doumbia make it 2-0 with a fine long range effort to secure the 2-0 win.
Mali advance to the quarter-final with six points from two games while Cameroon will face Burkina Faso in the last group game, needing a win to advance to the last eight.
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