from DIDIER NDONG in Libreville, Gabon
LIBREVILLE – RESURGENT Cameroon will be eager to avenge two previous losses to Egypt at this stage of the competition when the two teams face each other in the final of the African Cup of Nations at the Stade de l’Amitie, Libreville in Gabon on Sunday evening.
After securing a convincing 2-0 victory against favourites Ghana, the youthful Indomitable Lions, coming on the back of win over Senegal, have shown character.
This has presented the Central Africans an opportunity to settle the scores with the Pharaohs, who are somewhat a bogey team for Cameroon. In the last six matches between the two, Egypt have won five while another has finished in a draw.
Cameroon are still haunted by their loss to Egypt in the finals of this tournament.
In 1986, the two sides finished goalless in regulation time and Cameroon lost a penalty shootout 4-3 in front of 95 000 fans that filled the Cairo International Stadium.
The Pharaohs would return to haunt the Indomitable Lions in the tournament hosted by Ghana in 2008.
A late strike by Mohamed Aboutrika, capitalising on horrific defending by Rigobert Song, settled a tight encounter at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra.
That encounter is still fresh in the memory of Cameroon midfielder, Christian Bassogog, Man-of-the-Match against Ghana on Thursday.
“Now, we will prepare for the final and try to reverse what happened in 2008,” said the player who turns out for Aab Fodbod in Denmark.
Besides Bassogog, four-time winners Cameroon will be looking to the dependable Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui and captain Benjamin Moukandjo to win the title.
Acrobatic goalminder, Fabrice Ondoa, is another key player in Belgian coach Hugo Broos’ side.
Seven time winners Egypt are brimming with confidence.
Striker Mohamed Salah is in rich form as is Mahmoud Ibrahim Hassan.
Kinetic midfielders Ahmed Fathy and Mahmoud Abdel-Moneim have been terrific while 44-year-old goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary, was heroic as the North Africans, coached by Argentian Héctor Raúl Cúper, knocked Burkina Faso out on penalties.
– CAJ News