The intermediate lions of Cameroon have beaten the Red Devils of Congo, 1_0 in their first Group E game at the 2022 African Nations championship in Algeria. The game was staged at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran, on Monday night.
Jerome Ngom Mbekeli’s second half header made the difference, as Cameroon goes top of the group.
Cameroon came into the game with Memories of Morocco 2018 still fresh in their minds, when they were beaten one_nil by Congo, and eventually exited the competition at the group stage.
Yves Moukoko and mates took charge of the game immediately as Mauritanian referee Abdel Aziz, sounded the whistle for kick-off.
World cup star Jerome Ngom Mbekeli, dictated play from the right flank, and repeatedly burst into Congo’s 18 yards box, but the lions were time and again caught wanting in front of goal.
The first real chance of the game came at the 20th minute of play, when Cotonsport’s midfielder Kaiba Djawal, forced goalkeeper Paveld Ndzila to making an acrobatic save, to keep the score line virgin.
On the other side, Déogracias Gloire Bassinga, kept tabs on Cameroon’s backline, trouble Yves Moukoko and co time and again.
Ramses Donfack had a glorious chance to set up Cameroon before the half an hour mark, but blasted a left footed shot way off target.
The Red Devils were forced into an early substitution, with Jobel Ondongo limping off and replaced by Janard Mbemba.
Cameroon’s keeper Marcelin Mbahbi, had his own moments of panic, but they was not cause for alarm as both sides returned to the change room tight zero goal apiece.
Ngom Mbekeli continued his excellent runs in the second segment, and presented a fine chance for Ramses Donfack at the 56 minute, but the cotonsport winger again splash his efforts over the cross bar.
Three minutes after the hour mark (63), Ngom was on the receiving end of a well worked effort from Ramses Donfack, and headed pass goalkeeper Ndzila to put Cameroon in front.
Fauve Azur’s midfielder Arthur Avom, became the master planner for Cameroon, and laid a splitting pass into the Congolese box, but Donfack and Junior Kemajou both bottled from point blank.
The intensity increased in the last quarter, but there were definitely no further goals, as Cameroon held tight to secure all three points. The intermediate lions are now top of Group E, and stand a chance of booking a quater final spot when they face Niger on Tuesday January 24, in their second Group game.
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