Chan 2021 Wrap: Cameroon and Mali seal progression to semis as DR Congo & Congo crash out

The Indomitable Lions will play either defending champions Morocco or Zambia in the last four

Cameroon survived an early scare by the Democratic Republic of Congo to win 2-1 in the African Nations Championship and qualify for their first-ever semi-final alongside Mali on Saturday night.

At the Japoma Stadium, Makabi Lilepo opened the scoring in favour of the Leopards before Yannick Ndjeng and Felix Tcheoude struck back to send the home fans into celebrations.

Despite the Indomitable Lions playing at home in front of their supporters, it was their opponents who started the game brightly, hoping to silence the home supporters.

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The two-time champions were rewarded in the 20th minute when Lilepo rose highest to head home a corner kick.

However, that goal did little to stop determined Cameroon from pushing for goals. They upped their tempo, throwing everything they got on attack amid cheers from their fans.

Finally, the Central Africa nation managed to get an equalizer in the 28th minute. Goalkeeper Ley Matampi failed to clear the danger in his area, and the ball fell in the path of Ndjeng for an easy tap-in, much to the relief of their fans.

The winning goal came in the 41st minute when Tcheoude’s strike took a wicked deflection before finding the back of the net.

Cameroon’s Felix Oukine did well to get past his marker a minute to the break, but his effort hit the woodwork and bounced to safety.

The Indomitable Lions were even stronger after the pause as they targeted another goal.

But it was the Leopards who came closest in the 70th minute when Ernest Nsita picked out the unmarked Miche Mika in the danger zone, but the goalkeeper pulled off a brave save to deny him.

In another match played at the Ahmadou Ahidju Stadium in Yaounde, Mali stormed into the semis after defeating Congo 5-4 in penalties after the two teams settled for a goalless draw in regulation and extra time.

During the shootout, the Eagles converted all their penalties through Issaka Samake, Moussa Kyabou, Makan Samabali, Mamadou Doumba, and Mamadou Coulibaly.

The Red Devils missed one through Prince Mouandzu Mapata while Julfin Ondongo, Hardy Binguila, Yann Mokombo and goalkeeper Pavelh Ndzila converted theirs.

Cameroon will now play either Zambia or Morocco in the semis while Mali will be playing the winner between Rwanda and Guinea.


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