AFCON 2021: The worst gamble Cameroon coach took that almost cost him third spot

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 6 Feb, 2022 08:38 | < 1 min read
Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar. PHOTO/COURTESY

The Cameroon national team coach Toni Conceicao took a big gamble yesterday in their third-place fixture against Burkina Faso.

In a brave yet risky decision, the tactician fielded fringe players to start off the game, leaving his best players on the bench.

The tactician handed a host of players their maiden starts and benched his leading scorers; Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko-Ekambi.

Notable players who won their first starts in the continental cup include China-based sensation Christian Bassogog, Angers FC striker Stephan Bahoken, Lens FC striker Ignatius Ganago, Greece-based midfielder Pierre Kunde, youngster Jean Onana, Montepellier defender Ambroise Onyongo, Austria-based Jerome Onguene and American-based defender Olivier Mbaizo.

His bold move almost cost the host nation the third-place position, after his inexperienced team went three goals down.

The Indomitable Lions had to produce an incredible comeback to win the thrilling fixture.

The game looked finished after Steeve Yago's opener, an own goal from Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana and Dango Ouattara's 49th minute strike put Burkina Faso into a commanding 3-0 lead.

But Stephane Bahoken pulled one back late and then half-time substitute Vincent Aboubakar scored twice in three minutes to force penalties.

In scoring twice, Aboubakar secured the golden boot.

Blati Toure missed the decisive penalty in the shootout when his penalty was saved by Onana.

Oyongo Bitolo then scored the winning penalty for Cameroon to ensure the host nation ended the tournament on a high.

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