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Cameroon's Team B Shocks Everyone, Reaches AFCON 2017 Soccer Final

FRANCEVILLE, Gabon

Cameroon qualified for the Africa Cup Of Nations Final beating Ghana 2 - 0 and they didn't need its big name players to do so. They've been called  worst Cameroon team in a generation, but to everyone's surprise, they have reached the Africa Cup of Nations final.  Instead, Cameroon's youngsters described by their coach as a bunch of friends who just like to play football knocked out mighty Ghana on Thursday and set up a title decider against record seven-time champion Egypt. This is Cameroons first final since they lost to Egypt in 2008.

 

Both sides were on numerous occasions close to breaking the deadlock before Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui took advantage of poor Ghana defending from a free kick to score the opener in the 72nd minute.With seconds remaining Christian Bassogog sealed victory via a counter-attack. Cameroon beat Ghana despite missing most of the top stars who remained in Europe with their clubs. With the stars unavailable, tired maybe of Cameroon's recent struggles, coach Hugo Broos brought 14 players who had never been to a major tournament.They responded by knocking out Senegal in the quarterfinals and Ghana in the semis, two strong contenders for the trophy. They played with a free spirit.

 

 

 

Ghana was the more dangerous team throughout the second half, and probably for most of the semi, but the Cameroonians hung in and struck first through defender Michael Ngadeu's goal in the 72nd minute. Christian Bassogog rounded off a counterattack in injury time, running through on Ghana's goal unchallenged to seal Cameroon's place in the final as a desperate Ghana threw everyone forward in search of an equalizer.

Bassogog's goal prompted every member of Cameroon's squad to race off the bench and celebrate on the field at Stade de Franceville. One of them booted the ball high into the stands in delight. "This is a group of 23 friends. I've never seen this before in a football team," said Broos, himself a fairly low-key manager who had never been in charge of a national team before.

 

 

 

 

Cameroon has won the African Cup four times but not since 2002, and its recent record at major tournaments has been terrible. It lost all of its games at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and failed to win a game at the last African Cup in 2015. There have also been regular disagreements between players and their bosses over payments and bonuses. Maybe the big-name players believed they couldn't be bothered with all the problems anymore. "The players who didn't come have their own personal reasons why they didn't come and we are not looking back," defender Collins said before the match.

European stars Joel Matip, Eric Choupo-Moting and Allan Nyom were among the seven key players who opted out of coach Hugo Broos' group.

 

For Ghana, it was another miserable experience at the African championship. Ghana Coach Avram Grant's team threw everything at Cameroon in the last 20 minutes after Ngadeu's goal but just couldn't break through. Even the introduction from the bench of captain Asamoah Gyan, who wasn't fully recovered from injury to start, didn't work. Cameroon defended brilliantly, nullifying the threat of Andre Ayew and brother Jordan.

 

Ghana hasn't won the African Cup for 35 years and has lost two finals and four semifinals in the last six tournaments.

 

 

Africa Team

Tags:Cameroon's Team B Shocks Everyone, Reaches AFCON 2017 Soccer Final
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