Cameroon defeated Guinea 5-3 on penalties to be crowned the champions of the Total Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations 2019 at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Goalkeeper Manfred EKoi was the hero for “Les Lionceaux” saving Mohamed Sacko’s kick from the short distance before Saidou Moubarak scored to give Cameroon their second title after their maiden triumph in 2003 in Eswatini (then Swaziland).
After a barren stalemate which forced the game into penalties, Steve Mvoue, Nassourou Ndongo, Leonel Wamba, Toni Nang and Moubarak scored for Cameroon whilst Alya Bangoura, Alya Toure and Aboubacar Conte scored for Guinea. Sacko was denied by Ekoi.
The clash served a repeat of the group phase clash between the two teams which Cameroon won 2-0. Whilst Guinea were seeking to avenge the previous defeat, it was Cameroon who laughed loudest to confirm their superiority over the former.
Guinea forward Bah Algassime nearly broke the deadlock for the junior Syli in the opening minute of the game, with a long range effort that missed target. Cameroon will respond on 11 minutes through most valuable Player of the Tournament, Steve Mvoue with a shot that deflected to corner.
Guinea goalie, Sekou Camara was to his side rescue minutes later, stopping Ismaila Seidou in a one-on-one situation, to keep the scoreline barren.
“Les Lionceaux” best chance at breaking the virginity of the game came on 23 minutes, but Moubarak again failed to beat Camara in the Guinea post.
Cameroon goalie, Manfred Ekoi made a blunder in the 55th minute when he was forced to move outside his zone after a defensive error, but Ekoi weathered the calm with a clearance to safety.
Cameroon will later miss three chances to score the lead in the 58th minute, but Camara and his backline remained resolute.
On 75 minutes, Nassourou Ndongo missed a sitter to give Cameroon the lead with a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar with Camara completely beaten.
It was a balanced effort from both sides taking the game to shots from the short distance where the boys of Thomas Libiih triumphed 5-3.
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad handed over the trophy to Cameroon captain Fabrice Ndzie amidst jubilation from the victorious members of the Cameroon team.