Cameroon performed the seemingly impossible to flip a topsy-turvy game on its head and beat Bukina Faso on penalties following a 3-3 draw in the bronze medal match of the Africa Cup of Nations in a game that lacked quality but was not without emotion.
Yago popped up at the far post to convert a sumptuous Issa Kabore cross on 24 minutes, as both full-backs combined to give Burkina their first goal in a game marked by fouls from both sides and a distinct lack of clear-cut chances. In a game marked by fouls from both sides and a distinct lack of clear-cut chances, Burkina took the lead against the run of play.
Steeve Yago and Djibril Ouattara goals, sandwiched around a disastrous Andre Onana own goal, appeared to be enough to guarantee a third-place finish for Kamou Malo’s side, as three goals appeared to be the magic number. Or so it would appear.
Another Kabore cross caused chaos, and although VAR decided that the right-back had kept the ball in play, Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana’s blushes were not spared as Burkina Faso went into the half-time break with a two-goal advantage.
Onana was beaten by a wonderful Bertrand Traore inswinger, and it was three minutes later that Ouattara was strongly nodding beyond him, as Burkina Faso threatened to run riot and pour the embarrassment on their Cameroonian colleagues.
After coming off the bench, Antonio Oliveira summoned his best players to try and salvage something from the game, but as shots poured down on the Burkina goalmouth, the Indomitable Lions just couldn’t seem to force the issue as Burkina held strong.
With 18 minutes left on the clock, Stephane Bahoken managed to score from close range after a corner melee, and Cameroon had that glimmer of hope, and boy, did they take use of it.
Burkina Faso held tight once more as Cameroon pounded them, but not before Vincent Aboubakar had halved the two-goal lead, heading home from a Nicolas Ngamaleu corner to cast worry on some Burkina Faso players’ minds.
A blunder by goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo allowed the former Porto striker to capitalise on an unprotected net to complete an incredible comeback and secure a place in the book of history for the club.
In the end, a shootout was agreed upon after some initial confusion as to whether penalties or extra time would be used. It would be Blati Toure who would miss the crucial penalty; third for Burkina Faso, as Onana finally made up for his poor performance in the first 90 minutes by making the save that would prove crucial.
Ambroise Oyongo stepped up and fired the winning spot kick to write his name into Cameroonian history, capping off one of the most bizarre games in the history of the African Nations Championship (AFCON).
However, this Cameroon’s second bronze medal in the history of the African Cup Of Nations