Cameroon

Cameroon
Volker Finke
7th World cup
FIFA Ranking: 50
Best result: 1/4

Group A
Brazil
Cameroon
Croatia
Mexico

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Confederations Cup: Germany reach semi-final after video replay confusion

The Guardian

Germany 3-1 CameroonReferee sends off wrong player despite assistance from monitorWorld champions will play Mexico for place in finalThe world champions, Germany, reached the Confederations Cup semi-final on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over a Cameroon side reduced to 10 men after further confusion with experimental video replays.Germany were leading through Kerem Demirbay’s strike when a case of mistaken identity halfway through the second half – which replays were meant to eradicate – left Cameroon bemused and irritated. Related: Surely it is no surprise that even football maybe tainted in Russia? | Sean Ingle Continue reading...

Socceroos and Cameroon draw to leave both close to Confederations Cup exit

The Guardian

• Cameroon 1-1 Australia (Anguissa 45; Milligan 60pen)It was a result that suited neither side, an enthralling end-to-end encounter that failed to separate the teams. After drawing 1-1 with the African champions Cameroon at the cavernous Saint Petersburg Stadium on Thursday, Australia are on the brink of a group-stage exit at the 2017 Confederations Cup.With both teams losing their opening games – Australia soundly beaten by Germany and Cameroon downed by Chile – anything less than three points in a first ever meeting between the two sides looked likely to leave each requiring a helping hand in the final round of group matches. Related: Socceroos face uphill task after being edged out by Germany Continue reading...

Cameroon v Australia: Confederations Cup – live!

The Guardian

Live updates from the Socceroos’ second Group B game in Saint PetersburgGet in touch with Sam on email or via Twitter @sjjperry 5.40pm BST Yellow card: Bailey Wright (80’). He comes over the top of the ball in what looked an otherwise strong tackle. Slightly unlucky. 5.38pm BST 78 mins: Substitution Australia - Rogic off, Irvine onRogic’s been quiet this second half. Looking forward to seeing Irvine here - he’s been bright in the qualifiers. Meanwhile, thats Australia’s subs done with about 15 minutes to go. 5.37pm BST 77 mins: the ball is swung in to the area, but Aboubakar heads over. He had some power behind it too, but it was always going over. Methinks the Lions have just turned the dial on this match a little bit. 5.36pm BST 75 mins: Substitution Cameroon - Moukandjo off, Toko on 5.34pm BST 73 mins: Cameroon still sitting back, inviting Australia in. Right on cue, Mooy misplaces a pass and Cameroon drive at the defence. Mooy, in an act of atonement, doubles back to break things up. I wonder how structurally gung-ho Australia will be heading into the last ten. Would Postecoglou take a share of points against the indomitable Lions? 5.30pm BST 70 mins: Substitution Australia - Juric off, Cahill on“Our Timmy” 5.29pm BST 69 mins: Cameroonian keeper, Ondoa, dummies Leckie outside the box, much to the crowd’s amusement. Approaching the home straight, Cameroon fashioning the most meaty chances, but Australia doing enough remain a sniff. 5.27pm BST Interesting view on the penalty from Greg. Take it away:“Watching the game with the volume muted for obvious reasons,” says Greg, “I only looked up there as the video review was in progress for the penalty decision, and initially thought they were reviewing a stamp on the Cameroon player’s leg. So in summary, VAR is only as good as the referees implementing it.” 5.25pm BST 65 mins: Substitution Australia - Kruse off, Troisi on. 5.24pm BST 64 mins: ooof. Lovely move from the Lions, starting with a beautiful chest-control-swivel-pass motion that opened the space to begin with. Aboubakar couldn’t finish. 5.23pm BST 61 mins: The match resumes its rhythm of Australian possession and Cameroonian counter-attack, though it will be interesting to see whether Australia double-down, so to speak, or add caution given the score. 5.20pm BST Milligan strides in and comfortably converts, rolling the ball to the bottom-left corner. The keeper guessed correctly, but it was superbly placed. Cool stuff from the experienced midfielder. Game on, I guess. 5.18pm BST Australia’s Gersbach is brought down (or is he?) in the area. It looks a penalty, it’s given a penalty. It will be Milligan to take it. Quick decision, seemed fair enough. 5.17pm BST 56 mins: Best chance of the game blown by the Lions. They get to the byline once again - the ball is cut back to Aboubakar, who’s in acres of space, and he side side-foots it wide. Golden chance. 5.13pm BST 52 mins: More possession for Australia, who are focusing their foray’s down Cameroon’s left hand side. They fancy Kruse to find some space, I feel. Still, the Lions look comfortable. 5.11pm BST 50 mins: Think Australia will still be rueing that miss from Juric, as Cameroon look to consolidate after the scare. A similar start here to the first half, where Australia look on top and Cameroon a little sleepy. 5.07pm BST 46 mins: A great chance for Australia! Leckie beats a sliding (two-footed!) challenge on the right touchline and squares the ball in to Juric. It’s a little behind him but he has time to get a shot away (and possibly time to play one more pass to an unmarked man at the far post) - he blasts it high and wide, much to Postecoglou’s poker-faced chagrin, I suspect. Australia’s best chance, comfortably. 5.05pm BST 45 mins: Peeeeeep! I’ve seen others write that on the blog, I just wanted to feel what it was like, too. We’re back, if you were wondering. 5.02pm BST A question via email while we’re here:“Hey Sam,” writes Dan.“Having seen brief glimpses of this first half and the NZ MEX game, is it fair to wonder whether AUS would still be the top dog in Oceania if they hadn’t already moved to Asian WCQs?I guess it is easier to set up more defensively, but then again the Kiwis bossed large parts of that first half.Just a thought, I have no horse in the race myself.” 5.00pm BST HALF-TIME: 1-0 CameroonAfter 40 minutes of relative parity, Cameroon’s late goal will sting the Socceroos. The Lions grew into the half, and evidence of their vibrancy and potency built at a consistent rhythm as the half wore on. They deserve their lead. Related: Confederations Cup: Russian revolution means warm welcome for Socceroos fans | Kieran Pender 4.49pm BST They were pushing, Cameroon, and they have the first goal through a smart ball in behind that (again) exposed Australia’s back three, followed by a delicate dink of the bouncing ball from Anguissa that’s too deft for Ryan’s onrushing body and hands. John Motson tells us it’s Anguissa’s first international goal, and it’s a wonderful way to open his account. They just about deserved that, Cameroon. That will be half-time. Some thoughts to follow. 4.45pm BST 45+1 mins: a minute added 4.44pm BST 41 mins: Swift counterattack from the Lions leaves Bassogog skinning Degenek. He gets one of those professional bumps on the striker that breaks his pace and balance, and Australia survive. They’d take this at half-time. 4.42pm BST 38 mins: They go short, then play it to the top of the area, but it comes to nothing. Another raid leaves Ryan running some distance to get the ball, but he flaps, and it’s another corner. Again, nothing. Juric then wins a free kick and it’s all okay. 4.40pm BST 37 mins: Aboubakar giving Sainsbury a bit of a headache here - running directly at him and nearly escaping his clutches to unleash on Ryan. They look dangerous when running at Australia’s defenders. Corner to come. 4.34pm BST 31 mins: Great ball in from Gersback - his second dangerous ball today. It finds Juric whose shot is straight at the keeper. It had a bit of sting but it would have been harder for the keeper to miss it than save it. 4.33pm BST 30 mins: Cameroon just warming into this now. Again they isolate Gersbach and almost find themselves in behind. They’re advancing the ball very quickly - no slow build up play from them - and are clearly backing themselves to get behind a high Australian line. 4.28pm BST 27 mins: Fairly even contest so far here. Australia look assured - they’re certainly looking as likely, if not a trifle more, than their counterparts. The much-maligned play around the back three has felt safe so far, and both Rogic and Mooy have started well. 4.26pm BST 24 mins: Cameroon have regularly found space behind Australia’s left edge, and Teikeu’s able to deliver a ball that results in a corner. As is the tale of the set piece today, it’s limp and it’s cleared by the first man. Of course, you could hear any Australian voice somewhere in there yelling ‘away!’. Why does someone always have to say it? 4.23pm BST 21 mins: But it’s Rogic, and his swinging left-footer fails to trouble the goalkeeper, and, by extension, the goal. It sails well over the bar - it could have been better. 4.21pm BST 20 mins: Australia with a free kick now from a preferable position - just beyond the ‘D’ that extends from the area. Mooy hovers over it... 4.20pm BST 18 mins: Another free kick for Cameroon from the same distance, but this time on the right. Bassogog shuns the blast for a dink - it evades everyone and bounces harmlessly away for a goal kick. 4.17pm BST 16 mins: #tacticswatch - Postecoglou has ditched Mooy in an advanced role, it would appear. He’s back in the quarterback/deep lying midfielder role today. 4.15pm BST 14 mins: Sainsbury needlessly brings down Aboubakar,which results in a free kick from a decent distance. Aboubakar fires into the wall - with fairly weak contact, and the follow-up shot balloons wide. 4.13pm BST 11 mins: Quieter period of possession for Cameroon, stroking it around the backline before sending a long ball forward in a bid to get seconds. They don’t, and that’s a good sign for Australia - who are sitting appreciably deeper than they were against Germany, though that’s not saying much. 4.10pm BST 9 mins: More patient build up play from Australia, Rogic moving well between lines and linking well with Kruse, who’s eventually jostled off the ball for a goal-kick. Neat stuff from Australia. 4.08pm BST 7 mins: Cameroon wins a free-kick on the left touchline. It fails to beat the first man but the second wave results in a hard volley from Aboubakar, who hits the side netting. Early warning signs for Australia. 4.06pm BST 4 mins: Early sense that this will be end-to-end. Two more reasonably attacking forays in the interim. Kruse crosses in but can’t find Juric’s head, quickly followed by a Cameroonian raid the resulted in a shot from a narrow angle. 4.03pm BST 2 mins: Bright start from the men in gold. They build from the back patiently, advance the ball forward and Kruse, who’s made his way into the starting line-up, contrives a shot from the right edge. It’s straight at the keeper. 4.02pm BST Kick offAustralia kick-off, they’re running right-to-left on your TV screens. Can’t not say that with Ray Warren’s voice in my head. Sacrilegious in this forum, I know. 4.00pm BST “G’day Sam,” says Alan.“I’ll be watching the game this morning as well as following your comms - good luck, and I hope there’s plenty to keep you active and interested.I hope we are not as thuggish as our Kiwi cousins.....” 3.58pm BST Big stadium, small crowd. The #ALeague alumni in the #Socceroos squad will feel right at home... #ConfedCup #CMRAUS pic.twitter.com/DXvHWYbcTX 3.57pm BST It’s a fairly sparsely populated crowd, without strategically ‘full’ pockets either. Everyone wants their own space. It’s like when you have a few seats to choose from on the train - be as far away from anyone else as possible. Or is that just me?We could hear the Australian players singing the national anthem. They lacked lustre and melody. An omen? 3.55pm BST The players are out on the field.They’re in the tunnel, and start to make their purposeful stroll as I type. The real question today is: will Postecoglou persist with playing out from the back, and if so, how well will it work? Again, I’m well up for Australia aiming for a higher plane of football than we’re used to. 3.53pm BST Team NewsAustralia: Ryan, Degenek, Gersbach, Milligan, Leckie, Wright, Juric, Kruse, Mooy, Sainsbury, Rogic 3.49pm BST Good afternoon, morning, evening, good middle of the night all,What even is a Confederations Cup? The answer changes not just according to whom you ask, but how you’re performing too. For both Australia and Cameroon, a result today in St Petersburg would mean one team gets their campaign back on track, while the other suffers the ignominy of an early exit. 2.09am BST Sam will be here shortly. In the meantime, take a look at David Squires’ view on the Socceroos’ time in Russia so far: Related: David Squires on ... the Socceroos at the Confederations Cup Continue reading...

Christian Bassogog: ‘The Chinese Super League has the power. More players will come’

The Guardian

The 21-year-old, named best player at the Africa Cup of Nations, on his journey from playing for Wilmington Hammerheads in the US third division to being given an astonishing contract in ChinaTwo years ago Christian Bassogog was earning £25 a week with Rainbow FC in the Cameroonian second division. Today he is an Africa Cup of Nations champion with Cameroon and, having been named as the best player at the recent tournament in Gabon, his weekly wage has rocketed to £60,000 after tax.“In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined what I have been able to achieve,” the 21-year-old winger says. “It’s hard for me to find the words to explain it. Even sometimes when I am going to sleep or when I am waking up, I ask myself: ‘What did I do to be where I am today?’ I am grateful for it but one of the things I know is that I still don’t believe it.” Related: Kevin-Prince Boateng: ‘Mandela shook my hand and said: my daughter wants to marry you’ I am just drawn to my window every morning. In my whole life I have never seen so many cars. It is non-stop. Related: Francis Koné, the footballer who has now saved the lives of four opponents Related: Brian Kilcline: ‘I loved playing but the footballer is not who I am’ Continue reading...

Afcon 2017: our writers select their highs and lows from the tournament

The Guardian

From the standout match, player and goal through to personal highlights, disappointments and more, here is the verdict on the contest in GabonEgypt 1-2 Cameroon The best was saved until last. This was a watchable tournament throughout but, with almost an hour of the final played, Egypt appeared to be seeing it out to a conclusion that, given some of the attacking football on view from other sides, was not necessarily the most palatable. Then came an out-of-the-blue equaliser from Nicolas Nkoulou, a whirlwind of an onslaught from Cameroon in the final 30 minutes and a goal from Vincent Aboubakar that will bear replaying over and over again. All in front of a full house, largely peopled by Cameroonian expats, that made for the kind of raw, footbally atmosphere largely absent from major finals these days. Nick Ames Related: Afcon 2017: Cameroon’s Aboubakar wins final with late goal against Egypt This has been a tournament of fine goals, particularly free-kicksGiven the attacking intent most teams showed, it would have been appropriate to provide them with decent surfaces Related: Emmanuel Adebayor: ‘I have a bad reputation in England and I don’t know why’ Continue reading...

Old Hands Aboubakar & Nkoulou unlikely poster boys of Cameroon’s redemption

www.goal.com

The duo were the most seniors in the Cameroon squad and both stroke to bring home the fifth Afcon tittle for the Indomitable Lions

Cameroon complete 2017 Confederations Cup cast

Goal.com

The reigning African champions will face hard-hitting teams in the preliminary stages of the 2017 World Cup to be staged in Russia

Cameroon complete 2017 Confederations Cup cast with AFCON victory

Goal.com

The reigning African champions will face hard-hitting teams in the preliminary stages of the 2017 World Cup to be staged in Russia

Bassogog named Total Man of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

www.goal.com

The 21-year-old rounded off the competition by emerging as African champion and becomes the first Cameroonian to win the prize since Rigobert Song

Bassogog named Total Man of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

Goal.com

The 21-year-old rounded off the competition by emerging as African champion and becomes the first Cameroonian to win the prize since Rigobert Song

Broos expects more from AFCON champions Cameroon

www.goal.com

The Indomitable Lions boss feels his side can still reach higher levels despite beating Egypt to the Africa Cup of Nations title

Egypt 1-2 Cameroon: Aboubakar seals AFCON title for Indomitable Lions

www.goal.com

Mohammed Elneny gave Hector Raul Cuper's men the lead, but they could not hold on and Cameroon came through at the end to prevail

Afcon 2017: Cameroon’s Aboubakar wins final with late goal against Egypt

The Guardian

Egypt-1-2 CameroonThe worst Cameroon team in living memory. Or at least that’s what they were three and a half weeks ago, but the span of a tournament can be an awfully long time in football. Eight players had withdrawn from the squad while the determination of their coach, Hugo Broos, to impose discipline had led to other established names being dropped. But his inexperienced squad showed remarkable tenacity to come from behind and beat Egypt to win Cameroon their fifth Cup of Nations title and their first for 15 years.It was the bigger names who returned to win it, both goals scored by substitutes. Mohamed Elneny had put Egypt ahead in the first half but Nicolas Nkoulou levelled before a winner with two minutes to go from Vincent Aboubakar – a brilliant flick and volley, a winner for the ages. Continue reading...

Egypt 1-2 Cameroon: Afcon 2017 final – as it happened

The Guardian

Vincent Aboubakar’s brilliant late goal gave unfancied Cameroon a deserved victory over a defensive Egypt - and their first Afcon triumph in 15 years 8.56pm GMT This was supposed to be the worst Cameroon team in a generation. Now they are best in a generation, the first to win this tournament in 15 years. This is a feelgood triumph of the human spirit. Cameroon created nothing in the first half but in the second they were relentless and fully deserved to win. The captain Moukandjo, who played a huge part and created the equaliser, is in tears. Both the goals came from substitutes, Nkoulou and the hugely influential centre-forward Vincent Aboubakar. What a story! Congratulations to Cameroon, commiserations to Egypt. Night! 8.53pm GMT Cameroon are the champions of Africa for the first time since 2002! 8.52pm GMT 90+4 min There’s a long delay while Bassogog is stretched off. Cameroon had just made their final substitution. 8.51pm GMT 90+3 min Elneny hits the free-kick well over the bar. 8.49pm GMT 90+2 min It’s kicked off! Fai is booked for a foul, then Warda has a shoving match with the keeper Ondoa, who was attempting to waste a bit of time. When it’s all settled, Egypt have a free-kick 25 yards from goal. This might be their last chance. 8.48pm GMT 90 min There will be three minutes of added time. Cameroon are still marching forward. They have been outrageously good in this second half. 8.48pm GMT Egypt appealed for a high foot when Aboubakar lobbed it over the head of Gabr. I’m not sure. Gabr ducked into the ball and Aboubabakar had every right to go for that. 8.47pm GMT Aboubakar abracadabrad that goal out of nothing. Siani drove a long pass to find him on the edge of the box, all on his own against three defenders. He took it down with his shoulder, flipped it over the head of Gabr and then contorted his body to hit a bouncing volley across the motionless El Hadary and into the corner. 8.45pm GMT Vincent Aboubakar has won it for Cameroon with a sensational goal! 8.43pm GMT 86 min For the first time in the second half, Cameroon have started to think about not losing the match rather than winning it. It’s human nature but they will regret it if they end up losing the game on penalties. 8.40pm GMT 83 min We’re into squeaky-bum time. Cameroon are still the dominant time, though Egypt have started to cross the halfway line with a little more frequency. 8.38pm GMT 80 min “I think I agree with your theory about Arsenal achieving exactly what they should achieve,” says Matt Dony. “The true frustration, though, is that they should be in a position to achieve more in the first place. Ozil is (sometimes) one of the best players in the world in his position, Sanchez is the player Liverpool should have bought to replace Suarez, but they have settled for other average players. I dislike Wenger, but he is a great coach and he’s proven with those two he can attract top players, and we’ve always been told they can compete financially with anyone. They should have a whole team of world-beaters. As a club, they’ve quietly accepted Champions League qualification as a goal.”It’s a really interesting subject. I see your point. They would get less criticism if they finished seventh one year and third the next, but finishing top four every season creates an expectation of improvement. Nobody has time for equilibrium any more, in football or life. We’re addicted to rollercoasters. 8.36pm GMT 79 min Bassogog, just outside the area on the left, plays a superb disguised pass across the box to find Moukandjo in lots of space. He takes the shot first time but the ball bounces awkwardly and it flies high and wide. He might have had time to take a touch, on reflection. 8.34pm GMT 77 min Djoum breaks up an Egypt attack and marches 60 yards to the edge of the area. It’s a great run. Everyone knows he should now pass the ball, but his subconscious is screaming “HAVE A GOOD YOU COULD WIN THE TOURNAMENT WITH A WORLDIE”. He has a go, and it dribbles miserably wide. 8.29pm GMT 72 min Hegazy mistimes a clearance and concedes a corner, a reflection of the constant pressure he and Gabr are under. Moukandjo’s corner is superbly headed away by Gabr. 8.28pm GMT 71 min Salah improvises a brilliant scorpion flick over the head of Oyongo in the box only for Ngadeu to come across and clear. That was brilliant skill. 8.27pm GMT 70 min The lively Moukandjo’s snapshot deflects over the bar for another Cameroon corner. He takes the corner himself and the backpedalling Ngadeu’s looping header is comfortably claimed by El Hadary. 8.26pm GMT 69 min Hegazy heads behind for another Cameroon corner. The Egypt defence is under almost relentless pressure at the moment. Moukandjo’s near-post corner finds the head of Nkoulou inside the six-yard box but he can’t leap high enough and heads over the top. That was a bit of a chance. 8.23pm GMT 66 min Stoke’s Ramadan Sobhy replaces Trezeguet on the left-wing for Egypt. 8.22pm GMT 64 min Cameroon are in complete control at the moment. This is the problem with being quite so brazenly defensive; it can be hard to adjust your approach if you do concede an equaliser. It happened a few times to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England. 8.20pm GMT 61 min Egypt were asking for trouble with the sheer extent of their defensive approach. They barely bothered to cross the halfway line after half-time. 8.17pm GMT The goal came from the substitute centre-back Nkoulou! A corner was half-cleared and fed back out to Moukandjo on the left. With no pace on the ball he coaxed a superb dipping cross towards the six-yard line, where Nkoulou towered above Hegazy to plant a downward header into the corner. El Hadary dived posthumously;he wouldn’t have got there anyway. There was a bit of Alonso/Bellerin about the way Nkoulou won that header, albeit without the controversy and the concussion. 8.16pm GMT Bloody hell, Cameroon have equalised! 8.15pm GMT 57 min The brilliant Salah buys his defence some oxygen with a 60-yard run that ends with a foul by Oyongo. He is a beautiful footballer. 8.14pm GMT 55 min Egypt have basically declared at 1-0. They are barely bothering to attack. It’s a risky tactic, and Barry Davies would be unimpressed, but I suppose they are at least playing to their strength. 8.12pm GMT 53 min “The Spice Boys similarity works up to a point (fun, usually, to watch, but ultimately ineffective), but this Arsenal is much less homogeneously nearly-good,” says Charles Antaki. “Some players are entertaining & skilful and would have fitted into that Liverpool team (say, Bellerin) or would match one or two of the thick-ear ones (say Xhaka for Ruddock). But Sánchez and Ozil are surely in a class distinct from, say, Fowler or McManaman. On the other hand, they seem to be enjoying life a lot, lot less.”I’m not sure they are, certainly not relative in this league and relative to the rest of the league. At Premier League level, Fowler from 1994-97 was astonishing. Interesting subject though. 8.09pm GMT 51 min Trezeguet fouls Bassogog to give Cameroon a free-kick on the right wing. Bassogog takes it himself; it’s a poor one but hits an unsighted defender and goes behind for a corner. 8.06pm GMT 50 min Cameroon have had most of the ball since half-time, as you’d expect given the scoreline and Egypt’s nature. 8.06pm GMT 49 min El Said drags a long-range volley well wide for Egypt. 8.03pm GMT 46 min Peep peep! Cameroon begin the second half, kicking from left to right. 8.02pm GMT Cameroon have made a half-time substitution: Vincent Aboubakar replaces Tambe up front. 7.46pm GMT Peep peep! Egypt are 45 minutes away from another Afcon triumph thanks to Mohamed Elneny’s clever/fortunate (delete as appropriate) goal. It’s been an okay half and Cameroon have had plenty of the ball. The worry for them is that they haven’t look like getting past this terrific Egypt defence. See you in 10 minutes for the second half. 7.44pm GMT 43 min El Hadary gets away with another unconvincing attempt to deal with Oyongo’s deep cross. That, as the commentator on Eurosport says, should be Cameroon’s Plan B in the second half. 7.41pm GMT 41 min This is a good spell of sustained pressure for Cameroon. Egypt still look very comfortable defensively, mind. 7.37pm GMT 36 min Elneny heads a cross behind for a Cameroon corner. It’s drilled towards the penalty box and headed tamely wide by the under-pressure Zoua. 7.35pm GMT 34 min The old man El Hadary comes a long way out of goal and makes a mess of a simple punch. The ball falls to Bassogog, who works the space for a shot on the right-hand side of the box and then smashes it high and wide. It was a half-chance at best. 7.33pm GMT 33 min Egypt are superb at the back - they have conceded only one goal in the tournament - and so far Cameroon have barely looked like winning a corner, never mind scoring a goal. 7.31pm GMT 31 min The injured Teikeu is replaced by Nicolas Nkoulou. 7.30pm GMT 30 min Teikeu looks like he won’t be able to continue. That’s really sad. He is lying on his back, with his hand on his groin. He’s asking for a few more minutes from the medical staff but I don’t think he’s going to get them. 7.29pm GMT 27 min “The invitation to provide an Arsenal joke is tempting,” says Charles Antaki. “But 11 players managed to do that fairly comprehensively yesterday.”I have a half-baked theory about Arsenal: they are the new Spice Boys. Not in terms of lifestyle and hilariously named horses, but because they are perceived as irritating underachivers when actually they are just achievers. What they do each season is about par, possibly better than par, for the players they have. They are a very good football team, but they just aren’t that good. If they were worse, they would receive less criticism. 7.27pm GMT 26 min Teikeu lands awkwardly and needs treatment around the groin. While he waits for the physio he sits fiddling with his masculinity while the camera lingers on him. 7.25pm GMT 23 min Ondoa was crouching and therefore couldn’t spring to save the shot. It’s hard to know for certain whether Elneny spotted this, but if he did it was a clever goal. Either way it was a nice move, with a couple of classy touches from Salah in the build-up. 7.23pm GMT Elneny gives Egypt the lead from a tight angle. Salah on the right played an excellent angled pass to find him in space in the box. There wasn’t much on, so he decided to sidefoot a rising shot that beat Ondoa at the near post. Ondoa should probably have done better; Egypt will not give a solitary one about that. 7.22pm GMT Insert your own Arsenal joke here! 7.16pm GMT 17 min After a passive first 10 minutes, Cameroon are having plenty of the ball now. They’re doing bugger all with it, but come on, baby steps. 7.14pm GMT 14 min Bassogog slips away from Elneny but then batters a shot high over the bar from long-range. I’m not saying you can log off until the penalty shoot-out at around 9.40pm ... but this hasn’t been great so far. 7.11pm GMT 9 min It’s all Egypt. This could be a long night for Cameroon playing like this, although 0-0 draws aren’t exactly without precedent in Afcon finals: four of the last eight have gone to penalty shoot-outs without a goal being scored. 7.07pm GMT 7 min Siani has Cameroon’s first shot, a tame long-range sidefoot that is comfortably saved by El Hadary. 7.07pm GMT 5 min Egypt have started positively, with most of the ball. Cameroon won’t mind that too much. 7.03pm GMT 2 min El Said has a big early chance for Cameroon! After some neat one-touch football, Salah ushered him into the box with a deft touch past the left-back Oyongo. As defenders converged El Said stuck a low first-time shot across goal that was well saved by the plunging Ondoa. 7.00pm GMT 1 min Peep peep! Egypt, in red, kick off from left to right. Cameroon are in green. 6.49pm GMT The last time Cameroon won this tournament was in 2002, when they sported one of football’s greatest kits: the sleeveless green vest. 6.43pm GMT “Just a word on the referee Janny Sikazwe tonight,” says Harry Middleton, generously doing my job for me. “The CAF referee committee have assigned the final to Janny Sikazwe from Zambia. He has shown a big development in the last couple of years, in 2015 at his third AFCON he was appointed for the first time into the knockout round. If you do remember his name it is likely from his last final, of the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. Overall he showed a good performance showing a modern but unobtrusive style, however he was memorable for reaching into his pocket but not cautioning for the second time Sergio Ramos. “In this championship he has shown three okay performances, including a solid performance at the Quarterfinal between Cameroon - Senegal. Personally I would rather have seen Daniel Bennett referee tonight (he is the fourth official), but regional politics certainly helped Sikazwe, not to say he isn’t a good referee. He is now pretty much certain to go to the next World Cup in Russia. The assistants tonight are Jerson Dos Santos (Angola) and Aden Marwa Range (Kenya). As aforementioned Daniel Bennett (South Africa) will act as Fourth Official. Good luck to the team tonight!” 6.12pm GMT Egypt (4-2-3-1) El Hadary; Elmohamady, Hegazy, Gabr, Fathi; Hamed, Elneny; M Salah, El Said, Trezeguet; Warda. Cameroon (4-2-3-1) Ondoa; Fai, Teikeu, Ngadeu, Oyongo; Siani, Djoum; Bassogog, Zoua, Moukandjo; Tambe. 6.08pm GMT You never get a second chance to make a last impression. The final of a major tournament has a big impact on how history judges that tournament. That’s been a particular problem for the Africa Cup of Nations, whose recent finals have been so tedious as to make the World Cup equivalents feel like orgies of entertainment by comparison. The last eight Afcon finals have produced seven goals, four 0-0 draws and 471,941,865 unplanned naps from those watching on the sofa. This tournament really needs a good final, because it has not been the best. At least not in terms of basic entertainment. It has produced some cracking stories, however – none better than Cameroon, whose inexperienced team have marched unexpectedly to the final. 11.15am GMT Rob will be here shortly. In the meantime, why not have a read of Sid Lowe’s interview with Egypt’s Héctor Cúper? Related: Egypt’s Héctor Cúper: ‘I found a country in need. Sometimes you need that too’ Continue reading...

Egypt v Cameroon: Two AFCON powerhouses seek further glory

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The Africa Cup of Nations is set to come to a conclusion, with two of the continent's most successful countries reaching the showpiece.

Héctor Cúper’s sense of adventure fires Egypt to Africa Cup of Nations final

The Guardian

Much-travelled coach has revived his reputation and Egypt’s fortunes by inspiring an unexpected run to the Afcon final against CameroonThere are times in life when, without really planning it, everything comes together: there’s a moment, when it fits,” Héctor Cúper says. They were not fully aware of it then but the spring of 2015, when he became the coach of Egypt, was one of those moments. They needed him and he needed them; he believes they met at the right time and had even more in common than they first realised: passionate about football, proud, but fallen and a little wounded, they had a past better than their present. They shared a desire – he calls it a “need” – for revival.Uefa’s coach of the year in 2000, Champions League finalist two seasons running with Valencia, Cúper had just been sacked after four months at Al‑Wasl in Dubai, having previously been at Orduspor, Racing Santander, where he resigned with the team bottom of La Liga, and Aris Thessaloniki. Before that he had been the coach of Georgia for a year in which they did not win a game. Africa champions in 2006, 2008 and 2010, Egypt had not even made it to the next three tournaments. Now, together, they have reached tonight’s final against Cameroon in Libreville. Related: Egypt’s Ahmed Elmohamady: ‘After all that’s happened, fans want to celebrate’ Related: The Joy of Six: Africa Cup of Nations memorable moments Continue reading...

Cameroon beat Ghana to earn place in Africa Cup of Nations final

The Guardian

• Cameroon 2-0 Ghana • Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui and Christian Bassogog score for CameroonCameroon will face Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations final after a 2-0 win over Ghana.Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui cashed in on a defensive mix-up in the 72nd minute, before Christian Bassogog scored a second on the break in stoppage-time at the Stade de Franceville. Related: Cameroon 2-0 Ghana: Afcon 2017 semi-final – as it happened Continue reading...

Cameroon v Ghana: Afcon 2017 semi-final – live!

The Guardian

Afcon 2017 semi-final updates, kick-off 7pm GMTThe Joy of Six: Africa Cup of Nations memorable momentsAnd feel free to email Paul or tweet @Paul_Doyle 8.25pm GMT 66 min: Bassogog relieves the pressure on Cameroon by carrying the ball upfield. He then switches play cunningly to bring in Moukandjo on the left wing. Moukandjo darts into the box and tries to toe-poke a low shot past the keeper. Nothing doing. 8.22pm GMT 63 min: Cameroon are being forced deeper and deeper. But they’re still defending well enough to deny Ghana clear chances. Partey resorts to an attempt from 25 yards. But he drags it wide. 8.20pm GMT 60 min: Atsu gallops down the right - he’s been Ghana’s most sprightly attacker so far - but his run comes to an abrupt end when Djoum clunks him to the ground. Freekick to Ghana about 27 yards, to the left of the box. Wakasu goes for goal, curling a sweet shot towards the far corner. But, once again, Ondoa watched it all the way and was on hand to push it clear with both hands. 8.17pm GMT 58 min: Ghana have gained control of midfield and are restricting the once-dominant Cameroon to counter-attacks. 8.14pm GMT 55 min: Nice, fast play by Ghana. They swept forward down the right before Jordan Ayew pinged a teasing low ball into the six-yard box. Andre Ayew flung himself at it but so did Razak, and the keeper got there first, saving his team and hurting Ayew in the process. 8.11pm GMT 52 min: Acheampong makes good ground down the left and then digs out a wicked cross. The ball flies right across the face of goal. Acheampong watches on and wonders why no team-mates anticipated such a delivery. The explanation, perhaps, is that there has been a general goofiness around the box from attackers on both sides so far. It’s getting annoying, to be fair. 8.10pm GMT 51 min: Atsu has team-mates waiting for a cross in the box. So he decides to shoot from 30 yards. It’s absurdly far off target. 8.08pm GMT 49 min: A slack pass by the hitherto excellent Teikeu presents the ball to Partey. Cameroon scramble their defence quickly enough to prevent the forward from punishing Teikeu, who, once the danger has cleared, turns around to issue a bollocking to his team-mates. Textbook blame deflection, but he’s fooling no one! 8.05pm GMT 48 min: Ghana have monopolised the ball so far in this half, but in a monotonous way. As in the first half their play is too ponderous to unhinge Cameroon. 8.03pm GMT 46 min: The teams are back on the pitch with the same personnel as before the interval. But Avram Grant is in earnest conversation with Asamoah Gyan on the sidelines: might he be unleashed soon? 7.49pm GMT Cameroon were the better side - faster, more robust and, surprisingly, more enterprising than Ghana, who’ve been short of ideas and spark. It’s an engaging, high-energy fare but could really do with more deftness around the boxes. 7.47pm GMT 45 min: Wakaso careers in from the side and dispossesses Moukandjo, who was winding up a shot from 20 yards. It was a risky but brilliant tackle. 7.44pm GMT 43 min: Atsu cuts in from the right wing and lets fly with a shot from 25 yards. It take sa nick off Djoum and then deflects off the head of Teikeu. But Ondoa kept his eye on it and caught it safely. 7.43pm GMT 42 min: Ondoa calmly takes a cross by Andre Ayew as if picking apples from a tree, despite the presence of two attackers. 7.41pm GMT 40 min: Atsu produces the best pass of the match, rewarding a smart run across the box by Jordan Ayew by depositing the ball at his feet. From a difficult angle Ayew flashes a low shot across the keeper ... and just wide of the far post! 7.40pm GMT 39 min: A long ball down the right wing drops over Acheampong, who is caught out as Tambe races behind him and collects it. But Tambe makes a mess of his attempted cross. Scruffy final balls are the main reasons Cameroon are not in front by now. 7.37pm GMT 36 min: Presumably the hosts have decided to let locals in for free or very little, because people have been filing into the ground continually since kickoff and it now looks about 75% full. At least, the bits visible on TV do. 7.34pm GMT 33 min: Andre Ayew carries his defensive burden well, tracking Fai all the way before muscling him off the ball before the Cameroonian could deliver another cross from the right. 7.32pm GMT 31 min: Tambe has a chance to slip a pass through to Moukandjo but decides to go for goal himself. It’s a bad decision and his 25-yard shot fails to beat the first defender. 7.31pm GMT 28 min: That’s a bit more like it from Ghana! A swish move opens up the Cameroonian defence. But after Jordan Ayew plays in Acheampong with a foxy backheel, the full-back loses his bearings and smashes his cross-cum-shot into the nearest defender. Boye then heads over from the corner. 7.28pm GMT 27 min: Wakasu obviously doesn’t share most people’s high opinion of Ondoa. He tries to beat the young keeper from 40 yards with a low rasper. The keeper watched it hurtle wide. 7.27pm GMT 24 min: Atsu flashes a pass from the right win into Partey at the edge of the box. He does well to keep hold of it despite harassment from a defender. Then he lays it back to Jordan Ayew, who blems a shot high and wide. But that was at least a positive move from Ghana, who injected some much-needed fizz into their passing. 7.23pm GMT 22 min: Razak makes a fine save to deny Tambe. It wouldn’t have been a goal even if the ball had beaten the keeper - because the whistle had gone for offside - but Razak is eager to demonstrate his competence at every opportunity. 7.22pm GMT 20 min: Another cross by Bassogog takes a deflection that sends it looping towards the far post, causing panic among the Ghanaian defence. The danger eventually fades but the latest proof of Ghana’s unease at the back can only have encouraged Cameroon. 7.19pm GMT 17 min: Ghana have stemmed the flow in the last few minutes and succeeding in bogging things down in midfield. 7.16pm GMT 14 min: It’s all Cameroon at the moment. They’re stronger and sharper and have a clearer game plan - revolving around regular crossing and sporadic long shots. Zoua has just banged a decent long-range effort a yard wide. They’ve evidently decided to take the initiative and put more pressure on the beleaguered Razak, who’s coped well so far. 7.14pm GMT 11 min: Now that was a good cross! A low one pinged from the left by Moukandjo whizzed all the way to Tambe, who shot first time from nine yards. It was straight at Razak but the goalkeeper still had to show quick reflexes to keep it out. Operation Redemption begins well. 7.11pm GMT 9 min: Cameroon keep working their way into threatening position down the wins but so far their crossing has not been of the same quality as their build-up play. 7.09pm GMT 7 min: The ever-dynamic Bassogog wins a corner for Cameroon. Teikeu gets a powerful head on it in front of the near post ... but Afful is well placed to boot if off the line! 7.07pm GMT 5 min: Afful and Acquah combine nimbly down the right but Moukandjo tracked them all the way and got a good block on Acquah’s attempted cross. From the ensuing corner Jordan Ayew got away from his marker and had a chance to flip a volley towards goals from nine yards - but he completely missed the ball. 7.04pm GMT 3 min: It’s been an intense opening with lots of forceful challenges and purposeful passing. But all around midfield so far. 7.01pm GMT 1 min: Cameroon gets the show going. 7.00pm GMT Kickoff is nigh. For those of you following in black and white, Ghana are in black and white. Cameroon are in their forest green jerseys and red shorts. Not Forest Green Rovers jerseys, by the way, just a lush verdant hue, is what I mean. 6.58pm GMT Ghana’s national anthem is a snappier number and so is the version played over the PA system. 6.57pm GMT The Cameroonian players and fans have finished signing their national anthem and are now turning wave at each other and exchanges best wishes. But the guy operating the PA seems to have got hold of a long version of the song because it’s still blaring out around the ground. 6.54pm GMT The teams are in the tunnel, which, with 22 players and a stack of officials, is considerably more crowded than the rest of the stadium. There are vast expanses of empty seats. The handful of people in attendance, however, look to be having a merry ball. 6.48pm GMT Here’s Harry Middleton, who’s apparently a big admirer of today’s referee. “Caf have appointed their best ref for this, Bakary Papa Gassama from Gambia. He was again voted Africa’s best referee last year, and despite being from a very small nation certainly deserves the tag. He has a modern style, showing a determined and confident approach. He was ‘discovered’ at AFCON 2012, and since then has been a rising star in world refereeing. Since then, he was selected for Brazil 2014 and showed one of the best performances of the whole competition in Netherlands - Chile, but still wasn’t appointed again. He was selected to arbitrate the AFCON final in 2015, and showed a satisfactory performance. At last the last two championships, refereed have essentially been retired after controversial performances - hopefully Gassama showes a good performance tonight! His lines are being run by Jean-Claude Birumushanu (Burundi) and Waleed Ahmed Ali (Sudan). Joshua Bondo functions as Fourth Official.” That’s all true, Harry, but Ghana were not happy with his performance when in their group match against Egypt, when he was unusually pernickety and took an extreme aversion to aerial duels, in particular. Normally he’s excellent, though, so let’s hope he’s back to his best today. 6.37pm GMT As you can see from the lineups below, Avram Grant has decided to keep faith with his goalkeeper Razak Brimah whose unorthodox technique – both in goalkeeping and debating terms – has drawn fire from Ghanaian critics. That makes a lot of sense, if you ask me, because Brimah is the best keeper in the Black Stars’ squad and will surely be extra concentrated and motivated after being given this chance to redeem recent failings. It could still backfire, of course, in which case we’ll point and laugh at Avram Grant for making such an obvious selection blunder. That’s how it works, right? Elsewhere on Ghana’s team sheet, it’s sad to see there’s no Asamoah Gyan. He’s been to the semi-final six times but never won the darn tournament and now he’s been prevented from starting here because of injury. That places a even heavier goalscoring burden on the Ayew brothers. For Cameroon, of course, Benjamin Moukandjo is the main danger and Christian Bassogog could make regular inroads down the wing. But chances are Cameroon will spend a lot of time on the back foot – so it’s a good thing that they, at least, have an excellent young goalkeepers in Fabrice Ondoa. 6.19pm GMT Hello and welcome to a heavyweight clash that will determine who gets to face Egypt on Sunday for the right to be crowned champions of Africa. Ghana and Cameroon are two of the continent’s mightiest football nations but it has been a painfully long time since either of them were kings – especially for Ghana, who haven’t been No1 in Africa since Toto were No1 in America with Africa. Sorry, that’s an unwieldy way of saying 1982. As for Cameroon, they’ve won the tournament four times since then but it has still been 15 years since they could be called the Indomitable Lions without someone raising a quibble.Funny thing is, Cameroon have exceeded expectations by even making it to the semi-final this time. I could elaborate on that but there’s no point because Jonathan Wilson already has. Ghana, meanwhile, will catch all manner of flak if they fail here, what with them having stuttered for much of the last two years. Progressing to the final would go some way towards atonement, though for full redemption they would have to reverse an annoying recent trend of defeats to Egypt. We’ll peruse the line-ups shortly, but in the meantime you should could consider The Fiver’s bold forecast for this match. 11.27am GMT Cameroon: Ondoa, Oyongo, Fai, Ngadeu, Teikeu, Siani, Djoum, Zoua, Moukandjo, Bassogog, TambeGhana: Brimah; Acheampong, Afful, Amartey, Boye; Wakaso, Acquah, Partey, Atsu, A Ayew, J. Ayew Continue reading...

Ego-less and unfancied, Cameroon bid to become giants of Africa once more | Jonathan Wilson

The Guardian

Hugo Broos, who became Cameroon manager after seeing the role advertised online, has catapulted the country into the Afcon semi-finals by instilling a new mentalityThey were supposed to be the worst Cameroon side in living memory. No one, even in Cameroon, gave them much of a chance even at this most open of Africa Cups of Nations. Yet they have reached the semi-finals for the first time since 2008 and will face Ghana on Thursday dreaming of a fifth Cup of Nations title and a first since 2002. They defended with great discipline in the quarter-final against Senegal and in the young goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa have had one of the players of the tournament – although before anyone gets too carried away, it should be noted the only team Cameroon have beaten inside 90 minutes is Guinea-Bissau.Still, given expectations and the buildup, this is a remarkable achievement. Eight players – Liverpool’s Joël Matip, West Brom’s Alan Nyom, Schalke’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Nancy’s Guy N’Dy Assembé, Bordeaux’s Maxime Poundjé, Ajax’s Andre Onana, Marseille’s André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Lille’s Ibrahim Amadou – made themselves unavailable for selection before the tournament. Related: Veteran keeper El Hadary the shootout hero as Egypt reach Afcon final Related: Cameroon through to semi-finals after Senegal’s Sadio Mané misses penalty Continue reading...

Cameroon through to semi-finals after Senegal’s Sadio Mané misses penalty

The Guardian

• Cameroon win 5-4 on penalties after 0-0 draw• Burkina Faso defeat Tunisia 2-0 with two late goalsCameroon knocked the favourites Senegal out of the Africa Cup of Nations with a penalty shootout victory to book their place in the semi-finals.After a goalless 120 minutes at the Stade de Franceville, Sadio Mané proved the fall guy and the Cameroon goalkeeper Joseph Ondoa the hero as he saved the Liverpool winger’s spot-kick. Related: Senegal 0-0 Cameroon (4-5 on pens): Afcon 2017 quarter-final – as it happened Related: Afcon 2017: Sadio Mané’s ‘gift from God’ heightens expectations on Senegal | Jonathan Wilson Continue reading...

Senegal v Cameroon: Afcon 2017 quarter-final – live!

The Guardian

Afcon quarter-final updates from Franceville, kick-off 7pm GMTThe Joy of Six: Africa Cup of Nations memorable momentsEmail your thoughts to Michael or tweet @michaelbutler18 6.54pm GMT Two Lions, of sorts, these are two bonafide giants of African football. But there are some other big nations missing at this tournament. You can find out how, here. Related: Afcon 2017: how did South Africa and Nigeria, Africa's richest nations, miss out? 6.49pm GMT Senegal are the Fifa highest-ranked team left in the tournament (33). Cameroon are the lowest (62). But it’s knockout football. Yeah? Yeah. 6.49pm GMT Cameroon are in good spirits, seen chanting and dancing their way off the coach, complete with drum. That is never not fun to watch. I’m just pleased I didn’t have to see Gary Cahill do the same at the Euros. 6.45pm GMT These two teams did meet in an Afcon final, back in 2002. It wasn’t exactly a classic, a 0-0, with Cameroon prevailing 3-2 in the penalty shootout. 6.26pm GMT Such is the strength of Senegal’s central defence, that Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly – the subject of a £42.5m bid from Chelsea in the summer – only makes the bench. Everton’s Gana and West Ham’s rangy Kouyaté are the fulcrum of the team in central midfield, whilst Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf, Liverpool’s Sadio Mané and Lazio’s Keita Baldé Diao lead the line. No NKoulou for Cameroon! He is Cameroon’s most capped player at this tournament, but has to settle for a place on the bench, alongside Vincent Aboubakar. LINE UP | The starting XI for the upcoming match #SENCMR. Predict your Total Man of the Match now: https://t.co/OI0BJcrs11 #CAN2017 pic.twitter.com/aJKp4MpL1F 11.28am GMT Senegal’s elimination from Afcon cannot come quickly enough for Liverpool fans. Jamie Carragher/Danny Murphy/Mark Lawrenson/Jamie Redknapp/Steve McManaman/Graeme Souness presumably cannot wait for the moment when he can say that the return of Mané is “like a new signing for Liverpool.” Having won four on the bounce with him in the side at the end of 2016, Liverpool have drawn with Plymouth, lost home and away to Southampton, and lost to Swansea and Wolverhampton Wandereres at home since Sadio Mané left for Gabon at the start of the month – their only victory in that period a narrow 1-0 win over League Two Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup replay. This MBM is about the glory of an entire continent – not about Liverpool, or the relatively unimportant English competitions that they occasionally compete in – but it does go to highlight what an important player Mané is – Steven Gerrard admitted after Liverpool’s defeat to Wolves earlier today that ‘It’s clear for everyone to see, he’s a top player and we’ve missed him so much.” Continue reading...

Aubameyang blames poor preparation for Gabon AFCON exit

www.goal.com

The Borussia Dortmund striker was left to rue his gilt-edged chance that went to waste as the hosts crashed out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

Sport picture of the day: Cameroon fans get in the mood

The Guardian

Cameroon fans cheer on their team as they play Gabon in an Africa Cup of Nations match at the Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville. The game finished 0-0, knocking the hosts out of the tournament Continue reading...

Hosts Gabon leave Africa Cup of Nations unbeaten but unmourned by fans

The Guardian

José Antonio Camacho had hoped his side could unite the politically-divided nation but their joyless and unimaginative football did not excite the fansAs boos rang around the rapidly emptying Stade de l’Amitié, Gabon’s left-winger Denis Bouanga wept. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, after another underwhelming display, walked straight off the pitch, head bowed, shoulders defensively hunched. A goalless draw against Cameroon put Gabon out of the Africa Cup of Nations and made them only the fourth hosts in 31 tournaments and the first since Tunisia in 1994 to fail to make it out of the group stage. Related: Hosts Gabon crash out of Africa Cup of Nations after Cameroon draw Related: Afcon 2017: how did South Africa and Nigeria, Africa's richest nations, miss out? Continue reading...

Hosts Gabon crash out of Africa Cup of Nations after Cameroon draw

The Guardian

• Group A: Gabon 0-0 Cameroon• Guinea-Bissau 0-2 Burkina FasoHosts Gabon were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations after a goalless draw with Cameroon in their final Group A match on Sunday.Burkina Faso finished top of the table on goal difference from Cameroon, with Gabon out of their own tournament after three successive draws. Related: Cameroon 0-0 Gabon: Afcon 2017 – as it happened Continue reading...

Cameroon 0-0 Gabon: Afcon 2017 – as it happened

The Guardian

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a golden chance and Gabon hit the post in the final minute but the hosts couldn’t get the goal to qualify for the knock-out stage 9.04pm GMT Cameroon’s players celebrate in front of their fans, whilst Gabon’s players look distraught: Bouanga in particular looks inconsolable, sobbing on the turf. From what I can tell, Aubameyang walked straight off. That miss in the first half, miscueing a tap-in from two yards out, will surely haunt the Dortmund striker for the rest of his career: it would have taken Gabon through as group winners. As it is, though, Burkina Faso win the group. Congratulations to them. 8.57pm GMT The hosts Gabon are out! Cameroon go through as group runners up, behind Burkina Faso, who have beaten Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in Franceville. 8.56pm GMT 90+4 min: Gabon hit the post in the last minute! Again it is Bouanga who causes the problem, this time hitting a fierce drive across goal, which clips the post, comes out to Ndong – with the goal at this mercy and Ondoa on the ground – who can only bobble a shot straight at the Cameroon goalkeeper, who does well to somehow turn the ball over the bar! Gabon so close to getting the goal that would win them the group, and knock Cameroon out! 8.54pm GMT 90+2 min: And suddenly, Gabon spring into life! Where have they been for the last 45 minutes?! Bouanga twists and turns and goes down just inside the Cameroon penalty area … penalty?! No! The referee turns the appeals away! 8.51pm GMT 90 min: Four minutes added on. Cameroon win a corner, they are playing the closing stages here in Gabon’s territory. Cameroon’s captain, Moukandjo, looks to the crowd, geeing them up. The crowd go wild. 8.48pm GMT 88 min: Somebody put Aubameyang out of his misery. He’s cutting a pretty abject figure. 8.45pm GMT 85 min: Remember Gabon just need one goal and they go from being knocked out of their own tournament to group winners. Five minutes remaining. Mbingui, the substitute is at least trying to play the ball on the deck, although Cameroon’s midfield is defending very deep, crowding the space. 8.43pm GMT 82 min: Cameroon win a corner and prepare to make a double change, Aboubakar comes on for Bassogog, who has comfortably been Cameroon’s best player. Strange substitution, Bassogog must be injured. Yep, he appears to be limping. Ekambi replaces Ndip Tambe. NDong heads the corner away for Gabon. 8.40pm GMT 79 min: After such a bright start, this has turned into a dreadful game of football. 8.38pm GMT 77 min: There are some Gabon supporters leaving the ground. Gabon looks absolutely hapless right now: their coach José Antonio Camacho, who has managed Real Madrid twice, looks bereft of ideas. One final roll of the dice for the hosts, and an attacking change: Mbingui replaces Evouna. 8.36pm GMT 76 min: Zoua replaces Salli, who comes onto the pitch screaming ‘Allez allez allez!” Just 14 minutes to go without conceding, and Cameroon are through. Concede, and they are out. 8.34pm GMT 73 min: Gabon make another change: Serge Kevyn Aboue Angoue replaces Lloyd Palun, the right back. 8.33pm GMT 71 min: The Gabon players look knackered. Bassogog aside, the general quality of play is poor, not helped by the pitch, which is increasingly becoming cut up and bobbly. Remember the Stade de l’Amitie was only used for this match because the Stade Omar Bongo wasn’t finished in time: a stadium that cost $220m, and resembles little more than rubble, seven months behind schedule. 8.28pm GMT 69 min: Cameroon have started time-wasting. Oyongo wins a free-kick and it takes approximately 70 seconds for it to be taken. 8.26pm GMT 66 min: Aubameyang has been completely anonymous. Doesn’t look interested. 8.25pm GMT 63 min: Poko has switched with Bouanga from the right flank to the left and he goes to work on Fai, winning a free-kick. Bouanga, positioned in a similar position to where Wayne Rooney scored his 250th goal for Manchester United yesterday, curls a similar effort towards the top corner, but Ondoa is equal to it, tipping it round the post. 8.23pm GMT Bertrand Traoré, the Chelsea striker on loan at Ajax, has got the goal. That means that Burkina Faso will top the group, with Cameroon in second place, Gabon will be eliminated with Guinea Bissau, if things stay the same. 8.21pm GMT 60 min: Bouanga has comfortably been Gabon’s best player tonight, and he’s being given some rough treatment, Salli the offender. 8.19pm GMT 57 min: Gabon make a change: Wachter replaces Ze Ondo, who has had a torrid start to this second half. 8.19pm GMT 55 min: Ze Ondo is being torn to pieces by Bassogog. The Cameroon winger feints right and goes left, leaving Ze Ondo behind, with the Gabon full back clipping Bassogog right on the edge of the area. Bassogog falls into the area and appeals for a penalty, but the referee rightly awards a free-kick right on the edge. Oyongo crashes his shot into the Gabon wall. 8.15pm GMT 53 min: Cameroon are really turning the screw here. Another goal and you would think that would be curtains for Gabon in this tournament. Bassogog has started especially well, and cuts in from the right, squaring the ball to Siani on the edge of the area, and he crashes a powerful shot a yard wide of the post. No way Ovono was getting there if that was on target. 8.11pm GMT 50 min: Cameroon hit the post! Ze Ondo fouls Bassogog on the right flank, and from the resulting free kick, Oyongo crashes a low shot goalwards. The shot looks destined for the bottom corner but Ovono gets down well to his left and tips the ball onto the outside of the post. No corner given! Let off for Gabon! 8.08pm GMT 48 min: Having taken a blow to the face in the first half, Gabon’s right back Palun takes a knock on the knee. He gets some kind of cold-looking spray applied by the physio, which Palun looks particularly angry about. Anyway, he’s fine. 8.07pm GMT 46 min: Cameroon get things underway by lumping the ball straight out of play for a Gabon throw-in. Lovely. 8.04pm GMT Peeeeeeeep! We’re off again. 8.03pm GMT Bleak reading for Gabon then, but one goal can change all that. Score and if everything else stays the same, Gabon are group winners, Cameroon go out. 7.58pm GMT Cameroon Points 5 Goal difference +1 Goals scored 3 Burkina Faso Points 5 Goal difference +1 Goals scored 3 Gabon Points 3 Goal difference 0 Goals scored 2 Guinea-Bissau Points 1 Goal difference -2 Goals scored 2 7.52pm GMT It’s half-time in the match between Guinea-Bussau and Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso are going through with Cameroon, as things stand. The two nations would have to draw lots to see who wins the group. HALF-TIME | Guinea-Bissau - Burkina Faso 0-1 #CAN2017 #GNBBFA pic.twitter.com/8pVw8nWmPw 7.50pm GMT As things stand, hosts Gabon are going out. Here is that miss from Aubameyang. Makes you squirm, doesn’t it. Aubameyang !!!#CAN2017 pic.twitter.com/kaapDgIP8F 7.48pm GMT 45 min: Two minutes added on for injury time. The pitch is cutting up and the quality of play is increasingly poor. 7.47pm GMT 44 min: Palun nutmegs Salli to push Gabon forward, but the right back takes a knock and requires treatment. 7.45pm GMT 42 min: Two vastly different tackles: NKoulou makes an inch-perfect slide tackle to stop Bouanga in his tracks. Thirty seconds later, Aubameyang ducks out of a 50/50 with Oyongo. Not the kind of thing that the Gabon players want or need from their captain. 7.39pm GMT 38 min: The fluency has gone out of the game. It’s becoming very stop-start with plenty of free kicks. I don’t think Aubameyang has kicked the ball in about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, off the pitch …He's back!! #CAN2017 #CMRGAB pic.twitter.com/nNq3taxsEg 7.38pm GMT 34 min: Cameroon’s threat is almost exclusively an aerial one at the moment. With that in mind, I wonder how long it will be until we see Aboubakar. The Porto striker, on loan at Besiktas, is a real handful, and always impressed me when he was at Lorient. 7.36pm GMT 32 min: Ondoa, looks extremely shaky. Again he drops a cross from Zé Ondo, but the referee rules that Cameroon’s goalkeeper was fouled. 7.34pm GMT 30 min: Palun does well to head clear a cross, but is clattered by Salli in doing so, and lies crumpled on the turf, which is quite bobbly. There is a break in play whilst Palun gets some attention. 7.32pm GMT 27 min: Gabon started like a train but it is Cameroon who is coming on the stronger now. The Indomitable Lions have had a couple of long-range pot shots and set-pieces but their captain, Moukandjo, is having more of an influence in the middle there. 7.28pm GMT 23 min: From the resulting corner, Appindangoyé crashes a header over the bar. He should have done better, the Cameroon marking was poor. 7.28pm GMT 22 min: Ondoa hurt himself in saving that Bouanga free-kick, replays showing that he collided badly with his own post as he dived backwards. It looks as though he’s going to be OK to continue though. 7.26pm GMT 20 min: After a good spell of possession from Cameroon, Evouna does well to win a free-kick to get Gabon up the pitch, from which Bouanga tries an audacious effort from 40 yards, trying to catch Ondoa off-guard, who was well off his line. The ball loops up and looks to be sailing into the top corner, but Ondoa just gets back to tip the ball out for a corner. Not too dissimilar an effort to Ronaldinho’s goal against England back in 2002. 7.22pm GMT 18 min: Siani is booked for a rash charge in central midfield. He was challenging for a high ball but got nowhere near it, and correctly sees yellow. 7.21pm GMT 14 min: Oooooo, close from Cameroon! Gabon clear a Cameroon corner, but as the ball comes back into the box, 6ft2in centre-back Teikeu is left completely unmarked, but he can only glance his header past the far post. Should have scored! For all that Cameroon have been second best here, they could, perhaps should, have taken the lead there. 7.18pm GMT That means, as things stand, Gabon are going out! Cameroon, as group winners, and Burkina Faso are the two teams going through. GOOOOAAAL | RUDINILSON puts it past his own net. Guinea-Bissau - Burkina Faso 0-1 #CAN2017 #GNBBFA pic.twitter.com/MAk01xYKxM 7.15pm GMT 11 min: Fai brings down Bouanga with a deliberate tug of the shirt and is lucky not to be booked by the South African referee, Daniel Bennett. 7.14pm GMT 8 min: Cameroon are simply unable to get a foothold in the game. N’Dong, of Sunderland, is running things in central midfield. 7.13pm GMT 6 min: Cameroon’s right back, Fai, is simply unable to deal with Bouanga. The 22-year-old, who plays for Tours in Ligue 2, is proving a real handful. He nutmegs his marker on the edge of the box, and flashes a powerful shot just over the bar. 7.12pm GMT 4 min: WHAT A MISS FROM AUBAMEYANG! This has to go down as the miss of the tournament, possibly the miss of the season. Gabon have come out of the traps so quickly, and Cameroon look extremely shaky at the back. Bouanga controls a beautiful diagonal pass, and shoots with his weaker left foot. The shot is dragged but turns into a perfect shot for Aubameyang, who is lurking at the back post. The ball comes quickly to him, but no more than two yards out, can only stud the ball wide of the far post. The Dortmund striker holds his head in his hands, and so he should. 7.08pm GMT 2 min: What a chance for Gabon! Teikeu hesitates under the bounce and Evouna nips in to poke it past the Cameroon defender. Evouna is through on goal, but forced a little wide and chooses to roll the ball across the six-yard box to Bouanga, but Ondoa is brave and throws himself over the ball, smothering it well, somewhat making up for the earlier error. 7.06pm GMT 1 min: Ondoa is known as one of the better young goalkeepers at this tournament but he has an absolute howler inside the first 30 seconds, dropping the ball at the feet of Aubangeyang on his own six-yard box. For a moment, there is panic as Cameroon’s defence scramble to hack the ball away, and they eventually do. Ondoa looks as his gloves inquisitively. 7.02pm GMT Peeeeeeeep! We’re underway in the Gabon capital, where I am pleased to say that there is a healthy crowd inside the Stade de l’Amitié. Cameroon neighbours Gabon, of course, so there’s a big contingent of Cameroon supporters making themselves heard. 6.54pm GMT The teams are out! Cameroon in their royal red and green, hosts Gabon in their yellow strip, with blue trim. 6.54pm GMT It is worth noting that when Gabon arrived at the stadium, the players looked very sombre and focussed, whilst Cameroon’s players danced into the stadium as one unit. They looked very confident.Guinea-Bissau v Burkina Faso, the other match in this group, is going on simultaneously in Franceville. We’ll keep an eye on that one for you as well. 6.51pm GMT 6.41pm GMT Some news: Cameroon’s head coach Hugo Broos has said today that he would like Jöel Matip to play for the Indomitable Lions again one day. Matip withdrew himself for selection for Cameroon in this year’s tournament after being selected in the preliminary squad. He was then suspended from playing for his club side, Liverpool, but received clearance on Friday to play for the club again. Related: Fifa gives Liverpool green light to play Joël Matip against Swansea I’m very happy that this problem is solved and he can play again for Liverpool,” Broos said. “He made the decision not to come with us to the African Cup. I respect his decision but I also think the Cameroon Federation had to do what it has done because they are the Fifa rules and it’s too easy to say ‘no, I don’t come. But this problem is solved. For me, there is no problem any more and I still hope, as I have done since I was coach of Cameroon, that he will come back and play with us again. 6.16pm GMT LINE UP | The starting XI for the upcoming match #CMRGAB. Predict your Total Man of the Match now: https://t.co/OI0BJcrs11 #CAN2017 pic.twitter.com/ZCsTCH2Vjs 6.10pm GMT It’s hard to not make this all about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. His father, Pierre Aubame, was Gabon’s captain in their famous victory over Cameroon in 1994, to help his country to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations finals. A country hit by violence, a national team, calls from some to boycott the tournament and with dwindling attendances this year – the first ever tournament that Gabon has hosted – more and more emphasis has been placed upon the 27-year-old, who has risen to the challenge to score both of his country’s two goals in their first two games, 1-1 draws against Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso.I believe we can do it #gabon #AFCON2017 #CAN2017 #aubameyang #pea #faith ☝⚡️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/PDVU7W2AGY Continue reading...

Fifa gives Liverpool green light to play Joël Matip against Swansea

The Guardian

• Confusion about defender’s eligibility is finally over• Cameroon had wanted centre-half at Africa Cup of NationsJoël Matip has finally been given the green light to play for Liverpool again after Fifa announced Cameroon had no hold over the defender.Liverpool had become utterly exasperated by the confusion surrounding his eligibility during the Africa Cup of Nations after Cameroon announced they wanted the 25-year-old to play in Gabon. Related: Steven Gerrard to make Liverpool return as full-time academy coach Continue reading...

Cameroon 2-1 Guinea-Bissau: Ngadeu-Ngadjui completes comeback to send Broos' men top

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The Indomitable Lionshave one foot in the AFCON quarter-finals after coming from one goal down to defeat their opponents and see them top Group A

Afcon 2017: Cameroon comeback win cuts Guinea-Bissau down to size

The Guardian

• Cameroon 2-1 Guinea-Bissau• Siani 61, Ngadeu-Ngadjui 78; Brito Silva 13Cameroon survived a scare and a wonder goal from the Africa Cup of Nations debutants Guinea-Bissau to take command of Group A.The Indomitable Lions came from behind to win 2-1, but for 48 minutes Guinea-Bissau were ahead and heading for a special victory after Piqueti made a run of blistering speed and skill to take the ball nearly the length of the field and lash it into the roof of the net. Related: Afcon 2017: Gabon’s Aubameyang pegs back Burkino Faso but hosts rue misses Continue reading...

Afcon Stat Pack: All you need to know about Cameroon v Guinea-Bissau

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All the stats and numbers you need as Cameroon prepare to take on Afcon debutants Guinea-Bissau in Libreville.

Liverpool frustration over Joël Matip saga grows after Fifa drags its feet

The Guardian

• Jürgen Klopp fears it could be seven-to-10 days until club get a decision• Liverpool reluctant to play Matip until eligibility ratifiedJürgen Klopp has said it could be another two weeks before he knows whether Joël Matip is eligible to play for Liverpool, with Fifa set to consider the case on Friday.Liverpool declined to consider the fit-again defender for the Premier League draw at Manchester United having failed to receive clarification on his availability from world football’s governing body. Matip was not included in Cameroon’s squad for the Africa Cup of Nations and, as far as Liverpool are concerned, the 25-year-old retired from international football in September 2015. But the club has not received permission from Fifa or the president of the Cameroon football federation, Joseph Owona, for Matip to play for his club without the threat of sanction. Related: Liverpool forced to withdraw Joël Matip from Manchester United fixture by Fifa Continue reading...

Liverpool’s Joël Matip could be out for a month due to Cameroon row

The Guardian

• Club appealed to Fifa to resolve African Cup of Nations dispute• Defender was withdrawn from squad against Manchester UnitedLiverpool could be without Joël Matip for the next month as the row over the defender’s availability rumbles on.The 25-year-old, who has not played for Cameroon since September 2015, was withdrawn from selection by the club for the 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday as Fifa failed to provide the necessary guidance on the player’s eligibility. Related: Jürgen Klopp calls for Fifa to make a decision over Joël Matip Related: Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action Continue reading...

Jürgen Klopp calls for Fifa to make a decision over Joël Matip

The Guardian

• Cameroon have tried to call up Matip for Africa Cup of Nations• Defender forced to miss Manchester United showdownJürgen Klopp has demanded answers from Fifa on the Liverpool defender Joël Matip after he was forced to leave the player out for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.The Cameroon centre-half retired from international football in 2015 but the national team coach Hugo Broos has attempted to call him up for the Africa Cup of Nations. Related: José Mourinho: Jürgen Klopp thought I was trying to get Firmino sent off Continue reading...

Liverpool forced to withdraw Joël Matip from Manchester United fixture by Fifa

The Guardian

• Defender is in dispute with Cameroon over eligibility• Matip will not feature in match at Old TraffordLiverpool have been forced to withdraw Joël Matip from their match against Manchester United on Sunday after failing to get clearance from Fifa. Related: Everton v Manchester City: Premier League - live! Continue reading...

Burkina Faso 1-1 Cameroon: Duarte's side claim point through Dayo

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Benjamin Moukandjo saw his opener cancelled out, with the spoils shared in a contest which leaves Africa Cup of Nations Group A tough to call

Afcon 2017: Cameroon held as Issoufou Dayo earns Burkina Faso a point

The Guardian

• Group A: Burkina Faso 1-1 Cameroon• Dayo 75; Moukandjo 35Burkina Faso scored a late equaliser through the centre-back Issoufou Dayo to earn a fortuitous 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday. Related: Afcon 2017: Juary Soares header for Guinea-Bissau denies Gabon at the last Continue reading...

Joel Matip and Allan Nyom left out of Cameroon’s Africa Cup of Nations squad

The Guardian

• Liverpool and WBA defenders free to play for their respective clubs• Pair had told Cameroon they did not want to take part at tournamentLiverpool’s Joel Matip and West Bromwich Albion’s Allan Nyom have been left out of Cameroon’s Africa Cup of Nations squad after telling their country they did not want to take part in the tournament.They are two of seven players who asked to be omitted and are now available for their clubs this month, although Matip has been battling an ankle injury. Continue reading...

Liverpool standing firm in Joel Matip Africa Cup of Nations row

The Guardian

• Jürgen Klopp believes defender has retired from international duty• Cameroon’s Hugo Broos playing hardball and threatening sanctionsLiverpool insist they have no desire to get into a club vs country row over Joel Matip’s availability for Cameroon and only want to support the player’s own decision not to go to the Africa Cup of Nations.The club are resigned to losing Sadio Mané to Senegal’s involvement in the tournament this month, but understood the situation with Matip was different. He has not played for Cameroon in over a year after a disagreement with the national team, while still a Schalke player, and said as long ago as September that he did not wish to be considered for the Cup of Nations. Continue reading...