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AFCON 2023 (Q): Cameroon validate qualification against valiant Burundi

AFCON 2023 (Q): Cameroon validate qualification against valiant Burundi

Cameroon and Namibia complete the final list of teams scheduled to take part in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d'Ivoire. This follows Cameroon's victory over Burundi on the final day of Pool C (3-0).

How hard it was for the Indomitable Lions in the 1st half!Burundi had the upper hand, but André Onana was on top form.But the match took a new turn in the second half. Cameroon received an unexpected gift early in the second half. A poor throw-in from a Burundian defender was well exploited by Bryan Mbeumo, who beat the keeper to open the scoring (46').This error changed the dynamic of the match and, above all, restored the Indomitable Lions' confidence.

1st half: (0-0) Cameroon kept alive by André Onana Burundi made their intentions clear right from the start, with a one-on-one in the 2nd minute that Onana saved with his fingertips. Cameroon responded in the 10th minute with a direct corner, which the Swallows keeper saved with difficulty. In the 15th minute, Burundi had a second clear-cut chance when Saidi Ntibazonkiza's long-range shot was saved by Onana. Bis repetita in the 24th minute, after a long phase of play, Bimenyimana received a cross and unleashed an off-balance shot that was once again well saved by the Indomitable Lions keeper. In the 27th minute, Onana again saved his team with a header after a cross from the unstoppable Bimenyimana.

Finally, in the 37th minute, Cameroon's Karl Toko Ekambi initiated a counterattack. He ideally fed Bryan Mbeumo, who found himself one-on-one with Burundi's last line of defence, Rukundo, but came up against him. A great chance for Cameroon, but above all a wake-up call for a very playful Burundi. In the 41st minute, Burundi misplayed a numerical superiority situation in the Cameroonian defense, fortunately saved by a foot dragging in the box. At the very end of the first half, Super Onana saved another Amissi shot. The score at half-time (0-0) was an attractive Burundi side, who played well, remained calm and, above all, created the best chances. The statistics speak for themselves: 6 shots on target for Etienne Ndayirage's men and 6 saves for Onana, compared with 3 for Rigobert Song's men.

2nd half: Cameroon open the scoring in the opening seconds and the momentum of the match is reversed.
Cameroon were handed a gift as soon as the second half resumed, when a Burundian defender played an unsupported pass to his goalkeeper. Mbeumo wasted no time in opening the scoring. A cruel scenario for a groggy Burundi! More and more chances for Cameroon. In the 52nd minute, Aboubakar missed the decisive goal after Mbeumo had outflanked him.

The momentum of the match was clearly reversed in the second half, with Cameroon gaining in confidence with the goal. Burundi came close to breaking the deadlock. In the 57th minute, Ekambi's back-heeled cross almost led to a Burundi own goal, but ended up in a corner. From this corner, Christopher Wooh scored Cameroon's second goal after a shot had been saved once (59th). The pace then slackened, with Cameroon in control mode.

Cameroon created further chances, such as Toko Ekambi's direct free-kick, which was parried by the Burundi goalkeeper. Nothing more of note was to come, except for Burundi, who missed the chance to reduce the score and had one last hope in the 86th minute with a poor header after a precise cross. Aboubakar finally sealed Cameroon's victory in added time. Following a failed clearance, he dribbled past the goalkeeper and scored despite the return of the defenders.

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