Cameroon beat Guinea on penalties 5-3 to be crowned the champions of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations 2019 at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
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, ith 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.
Thomas Libiih (Head coach, Cameroon)
I feel great to win this trophy. It’s been hard since the beginning but my boys kept their confidence and fought until the last breath. It is good that we are going to the FIFA U-17 World Cup as champions and I believe we will perform well. I hope that this trophy will be the turning point of Cameroon football.
Mohamed Camara (Head Coach, Guinea)
I am not disappointed by the results. We played well and created a lot of chances but we were not lucky enough to win. We had ambitions of taking our revenge on Cameroon but we couldn’t, however this time we didn’t lost in regular time. It is huge improvement for us because we were in the final for the first time ever and still we showed some quality.
Total Man of the Competition
Steve Mvoue (Cameroon)
Osvaldo Capemba (Angola) – 4 goals
Fair Play prize