Host Cameroon and Mali have booked their semifinal tickets in the 2021 African Nation Championship (CHAN).
In the quarterfinal played Saturday night at the Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon ended DR Congo’s fairy-tale run with a 2-1 win.
Striker Makabi Lilepo put the Leopards of DR Congo into the lead through a header in the 20th minute that prompted frantic reactions from the home crowd.
The Indomitable Lions remained in control. But in the 28th minute, a blunder from goalkeeper Ley Matampi made way for Yannick Ndjeng’s equalizer.
Cameroon’s striker Felix Oukine scored before half-time to seal the victory for the Indomitable Lions over two-time winners DR Congo.
Cameroon, who will face either Morocco or Zambia in Wednesday’s semi-final, are now favorites to lift the title for the first time.
“We are very happy with the victory and we thank the fans for their support. Our focus is now on the semifinal which I think we will win. We will prepare seriously for the game,” Cameroon’s star defender and team captain, Salomon Charles Banga told Xinhua in a post-match interview.
Meanwhile, a 5-4 penalty shoot-out also on Saturday secured Mali’s progression against one of the tournament’s favorites Congo-Brazzaville.
The match played at Ahmadou Ahidju Stadium in Yaounde witnessed a goalless draw after regular time and extra time.
The Red Devils of Congo-Brazzaville were more confident in extra time but missed chances and paid the price during the penalty shoot-out.
Congo-Brazzaville’s Prince Mouandzu Mapata missed the first penalty, while all the Mali players scored.
Mali is in the semifinal stage of the CHAN tournament for the second time after finishing as runner-ups in 2016. Enditem