Egypt 1-2 Cameroon: Indomitable Lions win Africa Cup of Nations with stunning second half comeback
Second half goals from Nicolas N’Koulou and Vincent Aboubakar secured the impressive comeback victory for Cameroon
Vincent Aboubakar hit home in the dying minutes of the final to deny Egypt their eighth AFCON crown in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Ordinarily, the Indomitable Lions would not be considered underdogs, but in this tournament the odds were always stacked against them.
Seven of their leading talents refused to travel to Gabon and take part in the tournament.
But setbacks were put aside and new stars were born as Cameroon produced a second half comeback worthy of winning any competition.
Arsenal star Mohamed Elneny had put his side ahead in the first-half, but goals from Nicolas N’Koulou and Aboubakar sealed their nation’s fifth AFCON title.
There was doubt ahead of the fixture as to whether Elneny, who had missed the previous two knockout rounds, would be fit to play in the final.
But he passed a late fitness test and was at the centre of everything Egypt created as they dominated the early stages.
There were only 20 minutes on the clock before the creativity of the Egyptian team paid dividends – and it was no surprise it was Salah and Elneny combining.
Salah played the ball through to the Arsenal man, who looked first of all for a cutback, but instead caught Ondoa unawares and fired into the roof of the net at the near post.
It was the perfect opening for Egypt, who had only conceded one goal in the competition going into the final.
In fact, they had not conceded two goals in a game for 21 matches – a record stretching back to November 2014.
The goalscoring stats of previous finals also went against Cameroon, with as more than one goal had not been scored in a final since 2004.
Egypt’s confidence in their defence was clear to see, as they were happy to let Cameroon have the ball after taking the lead.
But it was not until the second half when the Indomitable Lions began to cause any kind of problems, with Christian Bassogog proving to be the most dangerous outlet.
And it wad no surprise that Bassogog’s powerful run forward was the catalyst for the equaliser.
From the resulting corner, the AaB Fodbold man whipped the ball back into the middle and defender Nicolas N’Koulou headed home past the helpless Essam El-Hadary.