|Cameroon beat Burkina Faso on penalties to win the third place playoffs on Saturday. (Photo credit: CAF Online)|
Tournament’s shining light Vincent Aboubakar scored twice after coming on in the second half to lead Cameroon to a famous comeback win over Burkina Faso in Africa Cup of Nations third placed final on Saturday night in a packed Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Cameroon failed to qualify for the finals of the tournament after losing on penalties to Egypt while Senegal bested Burkina Faso to set up an all-Liverpool finale at the Olembe Stadium on Sunday but Saturday was about the best loser.
Both sides ran changes and gave players that didn’t feature much in the tournament a run-in but it was the West African side that raced into the lead through Steve Yago who was well set up by arguably the best right back at the tournament Issa Kabore.
One became two just two minutes before the end of the first half; Kabore surged to the byline and while Cameroonians were hoping the flag would be raced for a potential goal kick, the fleet footed right back cut in briskly and the ball went in off Andre Onana.
The goal was disallowed at first but a VAR review handed the goal to the team in white albeit as an Onana own goal.
Cameroon rang a host of changes at halftime including the introduction of captain Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi but it was Burkina Faso that scored again just four minutes into the second half after being set up by Bertrand Traore, the header was so sleek Onana couldn’t do anything about it.
It was slipping away from Cameroon but they got a lifeline in the 71st minute. Stephan Bahoken scored from an uncleared corner kick, the stadium erupted with hope and energy returned to the game in full glare to the joy of the spectators.
Aboubakar scored twice in two minutes as the game neared its end to draw Cameroon level and show the strength in the Indomitable Lions, stand in goalkeeper for the Burkina Babes would not want to see the game again as he was culpable for the two goals the tourney’s leading scorer put past him.
The game went into penalties straight from full time as there’s no extra time in the third placed playoffs; Andre Onana saved from Blati Toure while Oyango Bitolo scored the decisive penalty to hand the trophy to the hosts.