CAN 2022: Cameroon succeeds in entering the competition

The 33e edition of the African Cup of Nations began on Sunday 9 January. At the scheduled time and in the superb Olembe stadium in Yaoundé whose construction, by dragging on for ten years, had given cold sweats to a whole country passionate about football.

After ninety minutes of a pleasant match, Cameroon successfully entered this competition that the public has been waiting for half a century. And the stadium, which should soon bear the name of President Paul Biya, was inaugurated with a victory against Burkina Faso (2-1). But we must believe that Cameroonians like to play at scare themselves.

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“The best of Cameroonian football”

From the end of the morning, the inhabitants of Yaoundé filled the streets of the capital, proudly wearing a jersey, a pennant, a flag … Shortly after 3 p.m., Paul Biya, 88 years old, of whom 39 came to power, offered himself a lap of honor of the enclosure in an armored limousine, in the company of his wife Chantal. Dozens of soldiers from the presidential guard were stationed at all the entrances to the compound, where each spectator was thoroughly searched and then forced to present a Covid test of less than 72 hours as well as proof of vaccination.

Patrice Motsepe, boss of the African Football Confederation (CAF), spoke from the top of the presidential platform. Cameroon owes him a lot. It is thanks to him that the event was maintained despite pressure from European clubs who did not wish to “release” their African players for fear of the spread of the Omicron variant. “We are going to show the best of Cameroonian football, the best of African football”, said the South African president of CAF.

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After a rather timid start to the match, the Cameroonians, unable to clear a ball in their penalty area, were surprised. Taking advantage of a cross from the right and a very rough exit from goalkeeper André Onana, Gustavo Sangaré opened the scoring (24th) with a volley of the left foot, plunging the Yaoundé stadium into a leaden atmosphere. .

Many occasions

But Indomitable Lions have resources. At the 38e minute a player is broke in the penalty area. With the help of video assistance (VAR), the referee designates the penalty spot. Vincent Aboubakar transforms him (42e) then the captain of the Indomitable Lions doubled the bet (45th + 3) by deceiving once again the goalkeeper on another penalty, granted this time without the support of the VAR.

In the second half, the Cameroonians dominated and created many chances without managing to score. “The victory was important to us, said Tony Conceiçao, Portuguese coach of Cameroonians. Yes, I was a little scared but, sincerely, I trusted my players. We knew playing at home in Game 1 was a bit stressful. A psychological burden weighs on the players but they reacted and that allowed us to enter the match. Our team has shown its ability to react. “

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For the supporters, it is relief. “At the start I was scared but our players caught up well, congratulated Cathy, a Cameroonian leaving the stadium. We made a lot of sacrifices to organize this event. We leave with a victory and that is the main thing. Now we can enjoy a glass of champagne. ”

Before heading to the city center, Joan, 22, had trouble hiding her emotion and finding a superlative to qualify this first success: “Unprecedented, incredible, spectacular… This evening was far above my hopes… I will return to the Olembe stadium for each match in Cameroon. ” The next one is scheduled for Thursday, February 13 against Ethiopia.

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CAN 2022: Cameroon succeeds in entering the competition