The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will hope to end the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on a high, when they take on Burkina Faso at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in the third-place playoff on Saturday.
Cameroon’s charge for a sixth AFCON title came to an end on Thursday when they were beaten on penalties by Egypt following a goalless 120 minutes.
They will now have to pick themselves up and ease the pains of two days ago by defeating Burkina Faso to secure a podium finish.
But it might interest whoever cares to know that the first and only time Cameroon won an AFCON bronze was in 1972 when they hosted the tournament.
Cameroon thrashed Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) 5-2 to clinch third place and land their first ever AFCON medal.
The last time they were involved in the bronze medal match was in 1992 where they lost 2-1 to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
For Burkina Faso, they will also be eyeing a second AFCON bronze, with their first coming at the 2017 edition.
This is the Stallions‘ third appearance in the bronze medal match after first featuring at this stage of the AFCON as hosts in 1998.
And if recent meetings between Cameroon and Burkina Faso is anything to go by, the former should take this because they are unbeaten against the Stallions in each of the last five encounters since 2015, claiming three draws and two wins.
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso will be boosted by the return of Lorient youngster Dango Ouattara, who missed the game against Senegal after picking up a red card versus Tunisia last Saturday.
On the injury front, Herve Koffi is a major doubt for Saturday’s game after the 25-year-old goalkeeper was subbed off the pitch just 36 minutes into the game against Senegal last time out.
Should the Sporting Charleroi man fail to shake off his injury in time for the game, his replacement Sofiane Ouedraogo should come in for his second starting appearance of the tournament.
For Cameroon, they should line up with an attacking trio of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi, who will be desperate to find their scoring boots after failing to really threaten Egypt last time out.
Aboubakar has been on song for the Indomitable Lions, leading the AFCON goalscoring chart with six goals from six games and the former Porto man will be eyeing the Golden Boot prize.
Ekambi has been another crucial player in Cameroon’s run so far, scoring five goals and the Olympique Lyon man will certainly be one to keep an eye out for.
By James Agberebi
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