CAM (1) 0-0 (3) EGY: Egypt’s Coach Red Card Incident, Aboubakar Flops, Salah’s Howler and Lots More.

Another favorite (Cameroon) tipped to lift the 2021 AFCON was eliminated last night via penalty shootout at the hands of Mohamed Salah’s Egypt in a nervy encounter that featured some dramatic moments. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were listed by many to win this competition after watching notable African giants such as Algeria, Nigeria, Ghana, and Morocco knocked out of the tournament. However, luck wasn’t on the side of the Cameroon national team last night as they failed to convert most of their chances but instead, a well-organized Egyptian team was the winner on the night, courtesy of great team performance across all departments. So, for those who missed all the actions, we shall bring you a recap of some of the key moments in the game for a clearer picture as to why the Egyptians deserved a spot in the finals.

 

1. Wasteful Chances By The Host Nation

 

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon should have themselves alone to blame for their exit at the hands of the Pharaohs of Egypt, having thrown away three glorious chances in the game due to poor finishing and lack of composure in the final third. The first chance came in the early minutes of the first half when a Cameroon defenderheaded a corner onto the crossbar but the follow-up was quite poor as the Egyptians cleared the ball for another corner. The second chance came a few minutes later and this time, it was the second-highest goalscorer in the tournament- Ekambi who failed to finish off things with his left foot after a lovely pass to the attacker. Lastly, Cameroon’s number 5 was at the end of a fine pass in the penalty box but his mistimed finish saw the ball come off his other leg before being cleared out of danger. Those great opportunities were enough for the host nation to go 2 or 3 goals up but their wastefulness resulted in their exit.

2. Egypt’s Coach Red Card Incident

 

 

Carlos Queiroz who once had a fantastic coaching career at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson was at the end of a controversial sending-off after failing to control his emotions despite a series of warnings from the center referee. He will be disappointed that he will only be cheering or giving instructions at the finals from the stands when Egypt locks horns with the Teranga Lions of Senegal on Sunday. Queirozwas first warned in the early minutes of the game after kneeling with both hands raised as a sign of favoritism for the host nation when the referee awarded a foul for the host nation. Subsequently, he (Queiroz) was often seen in a verbal disagreement with the match commissioner but he failed to take heed and thus, ended up being shown two yellow cards in the space of three minutes before the end of 90mintues.

 

3. Vincent Aboubakar Flops

 

The top scorer of the competition with six goals; Vincent Aboubakar had one of the most underwhelming performances last night in their unfortunate exit by Egypt. Coming into this game, he made it clear he wasn’t a fan of Mohamed Salah despite the Egyptians remarkable achievements in Europe and thus, drew the attention to himself ahead of this crucial meeting. However, it seemed he’s rather gifted at giving verdicts but showcasing his prowess on the field of play was quite an illusion. Aboubakar was barely seen throughout his time on the pitch with no single shot at goal nor contributing to the few goalscoring chances by his team. He was nowhere to be found when the Cameroonian fans needed their captain to prove his worth but Salah instead guided his team to victory on the night and thus, had the last laugh.

4. Mohamed Salah’s Howler

 

One of the biggest miss on the night was when Mohamed Salah failed to bury a glorious chance and perhaps Egypt’s only chance of the game. He was faced one on one with Cameroon’s goalkeeper but failed to finish things up as his teammates and the entire bench were on their feet hoping he would do what he does best but lo, he missed. Anyone including himself would bet he wouldn’t miss such an opportunity especially when you look at the great goals he’s scored in Europe, much more difficult than the one he had yesterday. Nevertheless, he still made up for the lost chance by staying fit and also aiding his team in their victory last night. He will be hoping not to miss lot of such opportunities when he comes face to face with his Liverpool teammate- Sadio Mane on Sunday for the finals.

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