Ivory Coast 2-1 Cameroon: Elephants too strong for Indomitable Lions in World Cup Qualifier.
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon lose their chances of assuming full control of Group D in the ongoing FIFA 2022 World Cup after falling to the Elephants of Ivory Coast 2-1.
Cameroon headed into the game after dispatching Malawi 2-0 at home in the first game while Ivory had a draw against Mozambique in their first encounter. But it was the Ivorians who made sure they continued their dominance against Cameroon in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Cameroon was undone by Sebastien Haller who scored both goals for Ivory Coast. His first goal came at the 20th minute through a penalty kick. The ball is judged to have struck Cameroon’s captain Striker Vincent Aboubakar’s arm which Haller stepped up and scored.
Nine minutes after finding the back of the net, Haller scored his second goal through a low drive that passed the arms of goalkeeper Devis Epassy into the corner. Devis Epassy was excellent in the first game against Malawi but he could not keep out Haller in this second game.
The Indomitable Lions was the better side in the entire game but unfortunately could not turn their dominance into goals. Cameroon will finally pull a goal back at the 60th minute with the side awarded a penalty after Eric Bailly was judged to have fouled Karl Toko Ekambi.
Moumie Ngamaleu stepped up and sent goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo the wrong way while slotting the ball in the other. This goal spurred the side who continued pushing for the equalizer but their finishing was way off than in their first game against Malawi.
Ivory Coast meanwhile took advantage of Cameroon’s lacklustre attack and mounted theirs and almost extended their lead. Serri who plays for English Championship side Fulham hit the bar from a free-kick. Christian Kouame was through on goal but for the timely intervention of goalkeeper Devis Epassy.
This was the 20th time that Cameroon and Ivory Coast were meeting in all competitions with the Elephants boasting a better record winning 10 games to Cameroon’s 8. There have been two draws in between.
In terms of FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Cameroon and Ivory Coast have met each other three times; back in 2004, 2005 and in 2021 with the Indomitable Lions coming out victorious in two out of the three encounters.
The previous encounters had seen Cameroon picking up a 2-0 victory against Ivory Coast in 2004, while Cameroon again won Ivory Coast 3-2 in 2005. This was the first time that Ivory Coast did succeed in beaten Cameroon in a world cup qualifying match.
The victory for the elephants of Ivory Coast takes the side to the top of Group D with 4 points in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (CAF Zone). Cameroon is second with three points after two games played.