AFCON 2021: Ekambi’s Brace Against Gambia Sends Cameroon Into Semi-finals

AFCON 2021: Ekambi’s Brace Against Gambia Sends Cameroon Into Semi-finals

Two goals from Karl Toko Ekambi earned hosts Cameroon 2-0 win against debutant Gambia and passage into the semi-finals of the AFCON 2021.

After a goalless first half, Ekambi scored in the 50th and 57th minutes to end Gambia’s fairytale run.

Cameroon will play either Egypt or Morocco in the semi-final on Thursday, with the final next Sunday.

The Gambia were competing in the tournament for the first time and beat Mauritania and Tunisia in the group phase to reach the knockout stages, before eliminating Guinea in the last 16.

But, in front of a passionate home crowd at Japoma Stadium in Douala, The Gambia were outclassed and could have fallen behind in the first half.

Fai fired into the side-netting from 30 yards before Vincent Aboubakar – the tournament’s leading goalscorer with six – glanced a header just wide, and was then denied from another close-range header as goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye produced an excellent save.

However, The Gambia’s resistance was broken early in the second half as Toko Ekambi rose above defender James Gomez to head Cameroon ahead.

His fifth came shortly afterwards, when he got on the end of Hongla’s inviting cross.

Cameroon were playing for the first time since eight supporters, including an eight-year-old boy, lost their lives in a crush outside Olembe stadium in Yaounde on Monday before the last-16 win over Comoros.

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  • Cameroo=un might just go on to win the afcon

  • Sean T 2 years ago

    All this Arab Nothern Africans with their manipulation. They don start again this night. You see their players influencing refeee decision to issue out card to the Burkina bafaso players. Any small contact the dubious Tubisian players will be given raising fingers up for a card. What nonsense. All those wayo Arabs wey dey the VAR room should be prosecuted and ban from football activities. They’re trying to rob Burkina Faso just like they did against super eagles. Which kind red card be that fo4 God sake. This is a knock out matches red card are not issue out just like that. HABA

  • Tunisia with their fluke outside 18 shot against Nigeria and referee manipulation thought they have arrived and middle power Burkina Faso (not Nigeria’s level) brought them back to earth. I don’t rate these Tunisians. Very average team. The best doesn’t always win, especially since Nigeria vis still a bit deficient in the goalkeeping department, midfield and right wing. Also, the striking department was not full strength.

  • JimmyBall 2 years ago

    Super Eagles players regardless of the instruction Eguaveon gave them should be ashamed of the no-show they put up in first half against Tunisia…

    See how young Burkina Faso team disciplined them making them look like Amateurs… I have noticed a. Certain attitude of arrogance and bigmanism about Nigeria soccer players.

    Back in the days we had top Euro based players… Martins, Kanu, Okocha, Utaka, Yobo, Udeze, Nsofor yet we kept attending Nations Cup and only winning bronze. It had to take guts by Stephen Keshi to come and drop big names picking a team mixed with NPFL players to win the Cup in 2013 brushing a Didier Drogba led Ivory coast along the way.

    The very set of foreign based players we have now are just too puffed-up with ego, bigmanism and arrogance. See little boys of 20yrs old punishing football in Burkina Faso team… their goalscorer is even a benchwarmer in FC Lorient where our own Moffi is king. I have always said it that the likes of Iheanacho, Iwobi, Chukwueze, Ekong, Aribo, Onyeka and Musa(obvious to all… Seeing he isn’t even playing anymore) are all very very average and inconsistent players…

    Super Eagles players should watch how Burkina Faso dismissed our nemesis Tunisia and learn humility. Who in Burkina Faso forward line or midfield has the talent of Amoo… even. See how a. 19year old finished the two central defenders of Tunisia who all Iheanacho and Awoniyi were not able to even challenge on the ball. What a shame…

    • You are correct. Against Tunisia, the eagles were just passing the ball to themselves at the back – sideways, back to the keeper and never showing any sign of urgency. That approach coupled with Eguavoen’s suicide mission of using 2 midfielders, and playing one direction football, ruined us against Tunisia. There is no real competition in the super eagles and the players all feel they already have a claim to 1st team shirt anytime to come to play for super eagles.

      Westerhof was in Younde in 1989 to watch Cameroon play Nigeria (where we lost to them 0 – 1 in our last world cup qualifier match). By the following year he was already playing the final of the nations cup against Algeria (where Nigeria lost 0 – 1), after first losing 1 – 5 to the same Algerian team in the group stage! By year 4 , Westerhof and Nigeria was African campion! That is what a good coach can do.

      It did not take Westerhof 2 years to gives us a reliable team. But by year 4, Nigeria already had a solid team with a defined pattern of play; a team that was feared by the whole of Africa. Even 2 years after (1996), the bulk of Westerhof players went ahead to win the olympic gold medal. That is what a good coach can bring to the table. Especially, when such a coach is blessed with abundant raw talents that Nigeria have. But this Rohr (though he is no longer in charge of super eagles) of a coach and Eguavoen, with their approach to coaching the super eagles, just keep proving that they can’t be trusted with the super eagles job.

    • @JimmyBall, you always make a lot of sense with your contributions here. Truth of the matter is that our players are just not that good. I don’t believe, we have the caliber of goalkeepers to win major tournaments. Nothing against Maduka Okoye, he is good, but a manufactured goalkeeper. Adeleye looks more natural. I think he [Adeleye] should be given a chance.

  • Coache 2 years ago

    Rohr spent 5 years and left a predictable team and starting 11. Eguavoen continued with the same predicability and we are out. Do we ever learn. Tunisians capitalised and WON.

    The same Cerezo is about to take Nigeria to face Ghana in a playoff. I laugh in Tunisian

    • JimmyBall 2 years ago

      If we don’t relegate players like Chukwueze who isnt flexible with his feet at all and could only use his left leg, Iheanacho Mr Bigman, Aribo very average midfielder back and permanently to bench roles we will find it a challenging ask against Ghana… Aribo is heavily overhyped with the nonsense he plays and call himself a box-to-box midfielder… Our team needs overhauling including Ekong and Okoye on central defence. I personally trust Semi Ajayi more than Ekong… We will be watching!

      • John-I 2 years ago

        Overhaul a team less than two months to a crucial world cup qualifier? Aribo is not overhyped he’s a good player. Chukwueze is a good player, he plays for Villareal. Iheanacho is a great player as well.
        By the way, where do your preferred replacement for the above players ply their trade? Juventus, Man City,Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Dortmund, Barca or Bayern Munich? Lol

        Nigeria didn’t play badly against Tunisia, they were only letdown by a poor goalkeeper. Didn’t you see the number of saves Herve Kofi made against Tunisia? Put Okoye in that goal for Burkina Faso and Tunisia will spank them. Nigeria just needs a better goalkeeper against Ghana. Even a good locally-based keeper won’t be bad.

      • KENNETH 2 years ago

        Oga jimmy the simple answer is Eguavoen has to grow some balls and drop some so called super stars. Chukwueze had no business starting in that tournament, with his shambolic display. He needed to had stepped up knowing fully well Simon was a target. We did all we can in that game. For me the red card killed our come back and more so had they displayed the same urgency after they scored us in the first half, we would probably had scored. Eguavoen just has to grow some balls. simple

    • Egauvoen can’t do the job period. I like him as a player – he was a very dedicated defender. But as a coach, he is no better than Rohr. Eguavoen is not up to the task. That is the sad truth.

      Our problem has been Rohr who could not get us reliable players and instill in them the attitude of giving it their all. He kept on recycling the same set of players, using a non productive strategy, and never willing to rock the boat. The sad part is that for up to 6 years he could not give us a goalkeeper. That was very concerning.

      Eguavoen might just repeat a Rohr on Nigeria if he is allowed to handle the match against Ghana.

  • The Tunisian coach decided to change his strategy today. He decided to come out and play attacking football. But unfortunately he team was not that good. If the Burkinabes were clinical they should have scored up to three goals today.

    Burkina Faso didn’t just play one way football unlike Eguavoen who decided to play one way football – using the left flank, even when it was obvious that Tunisia had closed up that side of the pitch! But Burkina Faso played from the middle and from the wings. Their goal even came from the right flank. The difference here is that their own coach mixed things up; refusing to focus on the wings or midfield alone. That is a local coach o. Now the question is, “why was Burkina Faso able to beat Tunisia?” Their coach was flexible with his strategy and they never left anything to chance. They took their own destiny in their hands and it paid off handsomely. That is a lesson to Eguavoen and all super eagles players!

    On another note, if in a continental tournament such as the nations cup, Tunisia can use all forms of dirty antics to try and win against Burkina Faso, I wonder what will happen when they play their final world cup qualifier at home again Mali. Mali should just go and prepare to play against Tunisia, the referee (if he decides to be dubious), VAR (if they also decide to be dubious), and the fans.

    • SD Special Delivery Jones 2 years ago

      Josh Men, I see your point. Ride on my guy.

  • JimmyBall 2 years ago

    That VAR room is full of Arab North Africans… Why did VAR not even look at the handball by a Tunisian player in our match. Again that referee from senegal was selected to be mean against Nigeria. CAF secretariat is in Cairo Egypt so for sure individuals contracted as video analyst for VAR will be heavily North African… The officiating in our game was not normal… Iheanacho without warning got a yellow card as early as 15minutes into the game. Cameroon might just win it again…

    • Well, VAR decisions were also lopsided against Burkina Faso. But didn’t stop them from from discharging their own duty. They did the talking on the pitch and won. Nigeria did not do the same and we lost. VAR people can gang up against you but if you put the ball in the net legitimately VAR won’t be able to stop you from winning. That is what the super eagles did not do.

      • Baba na baba 2 years ago

        Am surprised no one is talking about the red card we received,is eguavon this eguavon that,forgetting how difficult it is to play with ten men,if we had finished the match with eleven men,with iwobi joining the midfield,I would have been able to access and judge our coach.

      • Omo9ja 2 years ago

        God bless you @Josh. Also, our players need to be humbled.

        Their ego is too much. I watched videos of their training and I said to myself that it will be harder for any coach to manage the Super Eagles players.

        For example, when they were stepping out of the team bus, the fans and reporters were shanty the players name and our players ignored their sides. No single sign of respect from the players. Too bad.

        Lastly on that, our players didn’t take their chances in Cameroon before Tunisia match and the disciplined Tunisian team got them punished in the end. Blame the coaching for not selecting the best players to represent Nigeria in Cameroon. Dessers, Ejaria, Nwobodo and Adeleye for example.

        More so @JimmyBall, I agree with you on this. NFF won’t do anything about this. The VAR crew shouldn’t be for the North Africans alone but Africa as a continent.

        CAF should do something about this. We had a penalty against Tunisia but it was overlooked by the referees and VAR members. I am saying this not because of we bn kicked out of the tournament but for the sake of the African football. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Sean T 2 years ago

    Even Guardiola, Zidane, Klopp always got it wrong at sometimes while trying to change tactics in a match and no coach can boast that he had never been beaten whether keepimg faith with his tactics/formation or making tactical changes and adjusting formation. Every 1 was happy with SE performance at the group stage bcos he did well. So loosing a match doesn’t make him a Bad coach. Don’t forget the Red card has an effect on the team yet they created a lot of chances but unable to convert.

    Eguaveon to me is far better than clueless Rhor. Rhor fans you’re free to come for me i no send una. I trust Ghana won’t make that mistake to sign him and if they did, he will be sacked after the WCQ play off. Bcos his ass will be seriously wiped

    • MuYiwa 2 years ago

      That’s why he got beaten by an asst coach nah. The same Tunisian team that looked super and unbreakable against Egu_s team has been rendered useless by BFsso

    • I understand your point of view. These coaches you mentioned do lose matches even when they tweak strategies. But The fact remains that they mix up their strategies and 90% of the time they always pay off. This is the reason you are able to use them as a point of reference.

      Eguavoen’s strategy worked against Egypt because, Egypt didn’t know what Nigeria was going to come up with. The players also decided to come out to prove a point. That was why they played with more passion against Egypt. Compare the matches super eagles played against Egypt and Tunisia and you will see the marked difference in approach. This is what most people are complaining about. We had the players to beat Tunisia. But the coach and players just didn’t do things right.

      After playing 3 matches Eguavoen should have known that teams were going to devise strategies to neutralize his way of playing that was 100% successful in the group stages. So, a wise coach should have approached the Tunisian match differently. If Eguavoen had done this, it would have been on record that he changed formation and mixed things up and maybe it was not destined that he should win. But to not do any of these things is the problem. Eguavoen has proved that he will give us good football and results but what happens if Nigeria finds herself in a tricky situation. Would Eguavoen be able to maneuver such situation? Unfortunately, my own answer is no!

      • Sean T 2 years ago

        @Josh why did you think he can’t change tactics or formation. Every Coach knows that even Rhor that am condemning knows their is need to change tactics at some point depending on opponent. If he had change formation and we eventually lost fans will still come for him and asked why didn’t he stick to his previous tactics. It would have been a different situation if Iwobi wasn’t sent off and we still lost the match even me will criticize him bitterly. But getting a red card while trying to get back into a game after conceading is not easy and to make the matter worst we were playing against the Northernern African Arabs who are very manipulative and good in frustrating opponent with their dubious antics plus influencing refree decision. If u see tonight match, what business does VAR have reviewing that Burnanabes defender clearance for a possible penalty when it’s glaring that the defender just clear the ball ?

        I criticise Eguaveon myself for losing that match but later i realize the situation the team were in that match is not that easy. Though the first half performance is bad truth must be told and i felt so disappointed in the whole team. Got disappointed more when Okoye let that ball in. Common we need a good goal keeper. Even the Comoros defender turned keeper did better to be honest.

  • Sunnyb 2 years ago

    Nigeria should approach BF coach asap we need him before Ghana poach him away.

  • They’ll face Senegal if Morocco fail to do the needful….

    Senegal- Cameroon final loading…

    A repeat of 2002….. This time Senegal carries the day.

  • pompei 2 years ago

    Congrats to Gambia, one of my favourite teams in this competition.
    Nobody, including myself, gave them an atom of a chance. But look at what they accomplished!
    Because of what we’ve seen at this Afcon, the expression EWU GAMBIA has become a compliment. It now means STUBBORN, DETERMINED, AMBITIOUS, FEARLESS, COURAGEOUS. Like this Gambia team.
    It has become a good thing to be an EWU GAMBIA!
    Better to be an EWU GAMBIA, than to be cowardly, spineless, weak, naive, lazy, etc.
    Gambians worldwide can be proud of this team.
    Gambia, EG, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Cape Verde, and other so-called minnows have come to the Afcon, punched above their weight, and have earned themselves RESPECT.
    At the moment, very few give an African country an atom of a chance to achieve anything meaningful at the world cup. Nigeria is certainly considered a NO-HOPER, that is if we even manage to qualify.
    As we prepare to face Ghana in the world cup playoffs, are we ready to go to the world cup in Qatar AND DO WHAT GAMBIA HAS DONE AT THE AFCON?
    If we are not tactically, mentally, physically and administratively ready, then why bother?

  • MONKEY POST 2 years ago

    Wao! This is getting really exciting. Two players from the same team in contention for the golden boot. Cameroon really knows the importance of having tested powerful and experience legs upfront.

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