UNDER-17 AFCON: CAMEROON OVERCOME GUINEA TO RULE AFRICA
Cameroon claimed their second continental title at the age grade, defeating Guinea 5-3 on penalties to win the 2019 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.
After a tense 90 minutes failed to produce a winner, or indeed any goals, it fell to forward Saidou Alioum to score the winning kick in the ensuing shoot-out and stun the majority Guinean crowd at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Both sides had come through penalty shoot-outs in the semi-finals, but the sending off Fabrice Ndzie in the triumph over Angola meant Cameroon coach Thomas Libih was forced to hand a first start of the competition to Severin Ze Essono in the centre of defence.
Despite the apparent handicap however, it was Cameroon who started strongly, looked the more assured at the back and created the better chances overall.
Guinea was reliant on the reflexes and bravery of goalkeeper Sekou Camara on a number of occasions, notably in saves from Alioum and Ismaila Seidou, the former after a deflection appeared to have wrong-footed him.
The West Africans struggled to work openings, but when they did in the second half, it fell to full-back Naby Oulare, whose finish was tame.
Cameroon would go close once more, hitting the crossbar following another impressive Camara save. However, there was no separating the sides after full time, necessitating penalties.
After seven expert penalties, it was Guinea substitute Mohamed Sacko who blinked first, his weak effort thwarted by Cameroon goalkeeper Manfred Ekoi.
Alioum then stepped up to convert and deliver the title to the Central African nation for the first time since 2003.