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2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Advantage Algeria As Cameroon Fall At Home

Cameroon’s hopes of qualifying to the 2022 World Cup finals hang by a thread after conceding a damaging 1-0 home defeat to Algeria in their playoff first leg clash in Douala on Friday.

Ismail Slimani netted a powerful header on the 40th minute for the winner and crucial away goal following a defensive mix up between Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui and Jean-Charles Castelletto to leave Cameroon staring at elimination.

The Indomitable Lions enjoyed a bright start, with Vincent Aboubakar forcing Raïs M’Bolhi into an early save before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting saw his header clip the crossbar from a corner-kick.

Cameroon continued to play on the front foot, with Aboubakar a constant threat. The Al Nasr marksman hit his effort wide after being set up by Samuel Gouet on the half-hour mark.

Algeria found their rhythm as the half grew to an end and found the opener on the 40th minute when  Youcef Belaili floated a free kick in and Islam Slimani rose up highest to head the ball past Onana.

Cameroon nearly found an equalizer at the end of first stanza  as Rais was beaten to the ball by Nouhou Tolo whose effort came off the woodwork, allowing the Desert Foxes gloves-man to claim the ball on the rebound.

Rigobert Song made two changes at half surprisingly subbing captain Vincent Aboubakar for Kevin Soni, while midfielder Martin Hongla is replaced by Leandre Tawamba.

Andre Onana was then called into action, and produced a man of the match performance against Riyad Mahrez.

There is a pause in play  in the 49th minute as some of the lighting around the Japoma Stadium has gone out. The play resumed after seven minutes and with a Cameroonian free-kick which was taken by Toko Ekambi but the Algeria keeper M’Bolhi collected a weak header from Tawamba.

Tawamba finally got the better of M’Bolhi in the 70th minute, timing his jump to perfection, but his header was well stopped by the Algerian keeper.

Toko Ekambi had another chance four minutes later, when he lost his marker and headed towards goal, but he was brilliantly denied by a fully stretched M’Bohli.

Rigobert Song side continued to push forward in search of the equalizer, but ultimately came up short as Algeria held on for a valuable win away from home.

And the keeper denied Niang yet again in the 79th minute, after the striker beat the offside trap and hit a fierce shot across goal, with the Dutch international producing a superb save to keep the scores tied.



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