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Wednesday,August 21,2019 05:53 AM

Lions on the loose

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th February 2002 03:00 AM

Fired-up Cameroon wrecked Mali’s African Nations Cup dream here with a superb performance to win a highly charged semi-final 3-0.

Cameroon 3 Mali 0 Senegal 2 Nigeria 1 Final: Cameroon vs Senegal Fired-up Cameroon wrecked Mali’s African Nations Cup dream here with a superb performance to win a highly charged semi-final 3-0. The goal-hero for the defending champions was France-based midfielder Salomon Olembe, who struck twice in six minutes towards the end of the first half to effectively snuff out host nation Mali’s hopes of a win. Lyon midfielder Marc Vivien Foe sealed the rout seven minutes from time, rounding off a marvellous Cameroon counter-attack by rounding Mali goalkeeper Mahamadou Sidibe to roll the ball home. Cameroon, aiming to become the first team since 1967 to successfully retain the African crown, will play Senegal in Sunday’s final. Senegal defeated Nigeria 2-1 in Thursday’s earlier semi-final. Marseille star Olembe’s two-goal burst left the 55,000 crowd at Bamako’s March 26 Stadium stunned into silence at the end of a drama-filled evening which had earlier seen Cameroon assistant coach Thomas Nkono arrested. “The team played for the honour of Cameroon and the honour of Thomas Nkono, which had been attacked before the kick off. Cameroon skipper Rigobert Song, who had a towering match at the heart of his team’s defence, echoed Schafer’s comments. “Before the game, we were shocked by what happened,” Song said. “It gave us the will to win.” Song also rubbished suggestions that Nkono had been trying to leave some sort of black magic charm on the field when he was hauled off. “I don’t believe in sorcery,” he quipped. The ‘Indomitable Lions’ were to give the best possible riposte to the Nkono furore on the pitch, their football doing the talking in a match they fully controlled. Mali president Alpha Oumar Konare later apologised for the incident. Konare went to the Cameroonian changing room after the match to apologise for the incident. Earlier, Senegal, playing for more than one hour with a man less, won their match with a goal by Alissane Diao seven minutes into extra time but were let off the hook later when substitute Wilson Oruma missed a penalty for Super Eagles. Nigeria, who had earned a stay of execution with an 88th minute equaliser by Ukrainian-based Julius Aghahowa, finished with nine men after Aghahowa and Ifeanyi Udeze were dismissed in the second half of extra time. ends

Lions on the loose

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