Defending champions Cameroon have been booted out from the 2023 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Algeria after Souleymane Alio scored twice to cancel a Dorinel Yondjo Matam Angel advantage and earned a 2-1 win for Burkina Faso on Sunday in Annaba.
The Indomitable cubs bowed out at the expense of South Africa after a 1-2 defeat to Burkina Faso crowned their disappointing tournament which ended two defeats in two.
Cameroon entered the match at the 19 May 1956 stadium needing at least a draw to recover from the opening day 0-1 defeat to Mali and advance to the quarter-final.
The two-time champions were on their way to the last eight for the opening hour as both sides hit the word work but the scores remained goalless, which was good for both nations to progress to the quarter-final.
Hopes of progress from the three-nations group C were doubled in the 61st minute after highly-rated forward Yondjo opened scores for the 2019 champions.
The EFBC forward who had vowed to do better than Victor Osimhen’s four goals in the 2015 edition flattened a Burkina Faso defender and their shot stopper, before firing into an empty net minutes after his Nigerian mentor had scored at the Diego Maradona stadium to become Africa’s all-time leading scorer in the Serie A, breaking George Weah’s 46-goal record.
The goal put Cameroon in advantage position to finish the group as the third best team in the group.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as Burkina Faso scored twice in two minutes from two identical runs on the shoulder of the last defender.
16-year-old Alio timed his run perfectly and received a great through ball from midfield before chipping the ball beyond Junior Lopez on goal for Cameroon to make it 1-1 14 minutes from time.
The striker scored the second for the West Africans two minutes later to turn the game on its head while showing Cameroon the exit door.
Cameroon made four replacements including bringing on Harouna Djibirin who was a surprised exclusion from the starting XI. Unfortunately attempts to restore parity met a resilient Burkina Faso side that also made changes to defend their advantage.
Cameroon had a late chance but Yondjo’s attempt was blocked with a fine tackle from Aly Sokondou to keep it at 2-1 to the end.
Burkina Faso won it as the score remained unchanged till the full-time whistle.
Cameroon bowed out of the competition they won in style in 2019 without a point thus missing out on the chance to qualify for the FIFA World Cup later this year.
The elimination of Cameroon guarantees a new champion from the eight quarter-final Nations.
Wednesday May 10
Senegal vs South Africa
Morocco vs Algeria
Thursday May 11
Nigeria Vs Burkina Faso
Mali Vs Congo
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