Contributed by Nkafu Gabriel
The 2019 edition of the Under 23 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is currently ongoing in Egypt. Debutants Cameroon is pooled in group A alongside host Egypt, Ghana and Mali.
The U-23 indomitable lions picked up their first win at the event on Monday October 11th, by defeating the Malian side in their second match 1-0. This was thanks to the brilliant efforts of Franck Evina Junior who netted in the opener at the 76th minute of play. Franck Evina who is currently one of the top goal scorers of the event with 2 goals, was later named Man of the Match due to his stunning performance.
The lions had earlier picked up a point after playing 1 – 1 draw against Ghana. This means the lions now have a total of 4 points and 2 goals. The lions of Coach Rigobert Song Bahanag will play their last group match against host Egypt this Thursday at the Cairo International stadium in an effort to qualify for the semi-final stage of the competition. Meanwhile Egypt has already qualified for the semifinals as they defeated Mali and Ghana in their first two matches.
As it stands now, Egypt tops group A with 6 points, Cameroon is second with 4 points, Ghana is third with 1 point and Mali who has been eliminated sits at the bottom of the group with no point at all. This therefore means that Cameroon will need just a draw against Egypt to qualify for the semifinals.
Reacting after Monday’s match, Coach R. Song said their goal of reaching the semifinal has not been reached and thus the team must stay focused against Egypt on Thursday. He added that Cameroon must be cautious in order to avoid a possible group stage exit.