18 June 2012

Africa: Female AFCON - Cameroon Sails Through

After gaining a historic qualification for the London Olympics, the Indomitable Lionesses added another red feather on their cap by qualifying for the final round of the African Cup of Nations to take place in Equatorial Guinea by the end of the year. The Lionesses beat the Black Starlets of Ghana 10-9 in post match penalties after both sides were tied 2-2 on aggregate after the regular time of play.

The victory of the Lionesses was not easy to come by given that the Ghanaians took the lead at the 30th minute in a match where the Lionesses had to concede no goal so as to conserve their away goal advantage gained in Accra. More so, the Ghanaians proved more enterprising in the first half and would have aggravated the score but for a stroke of luck. However, upon resumption of play for the second half, Cameroon proved more enterprising mounting pressure on the Ghanaian side but failed to concretise the numerous chances they created upfront. Cameroon got the equaliser at the 87th minute from the penalty spot after Onguene Aboudi was brought down inside the 18-metre box. The penalty was transformed by Manie Christine.

Luck turned out to be an important factor in the tension-packed encounter given that Cameroon was led twice in the penalty shoot-outs but each time caught up with the score and finally took the upper hand thereby dragging the suspense to the very last minute of the game. According to the Minister of Sports and Physical education who had promised a million franc bonus to each players in case of qualification, the Lionesses demonstrated the true fighting spirit reminiscent of the Lions and finally gave honour to the nation. The minister's joy was shared by the team coach, Enoh Ngachu who said he was particularly happy because Cameroon obtained qualification against a powerhouse in African football as Ghana is second to Nigeria in terms of feminine football on the continent. Though a scanty public turned out for the match, there was the remarkable presence of Alexandre Song and Carlos Kameni who turned out at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium to encounrage their female counterparts.

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