In what seems to be a rotation of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy among the traditional African football power houses, from Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire and finally to Cameroon, the Indomitable Lions mauled the Pharaohs in a 2-1 victory in Gabon, ending a lengthy drought.

Some years back, one would have been assured that Cameroon would always get to the finals of the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament. Those were the years of Patrick Mboma, Samuel Eto’o, Rigobert Song, Carlos Kameni among a host of other big names that always came from their European clubs with formidable skills. The Indomitable Lions were true to their name. However, since 2010, Gabon 2017 is the first time that the Cameroonian team has qualified to the quarter finals.

The Indomitable Lions were a surprise package at this year’s tournament, written off by many. The team faced many challenges, ranging from having seven of their foreign based players refusing to heed to the call from head coach, Hugo Broos. The refusal left the coach with no choice than to pick young, inexperienced side, with relatively unknown names.

Cameroon's players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout at the end of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final football match between Senegal and Cameroon in Franceville on January 28, 2017. Photo: ANP/ AFP: Khaled Desouki
Cameroon’s players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout at the end of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final football match between Senegal and Cameroon in Franceville on January 28, 2017. Photo: ANP/ AFP: Khaled Desouki

For a team known as the Indomitable Lions, one would not have expected they’d be labelled as underdogs. Having come from behind to beat Guinea-Bissau in their Group A match, Cameroon repeated that feat with the Pharaohs of Egypt.

The Pharaohs took an early lead with the first goal in the 22 minute of the final courtesy of Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny.  If Egypt had maintained that lead, this would have been the eighth time they won the Afcon trophy. But an equaliser in the 58th minute from substitute Nikolas Nkoulou gave the Indomitable Lions the much sought for parity. The indefatigable Cameroonians continued to mount pressure on the lethargic Egyptians. It payed off for Cameroon with the winning goal scored by Vincent Aboubakar.

AFCON Trophy Photo: Supersport/ Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
AFCON Trophy Photo: Supersport/
Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Cameroon sealed their fifth victory and broke a 15 year trophy less run, and became the second most successful nation in the tournament behind Egypt. The presence of former Cameroonian forward Samuel Eto’o could not be missed as he stood up in jubilation after Aboubakar’s goal.

The Indomitable Lions dominated the match with a 57 percent ball possession, 15 shots and three shots on target, as well as six corners.

A huge congratulations to the Indomitable Lions.