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Dominant performance helps Cameroon ease past Gambia

Two goals from Karl Toko Ekambi clinched a 2-0 quarterfinal victory for Cameroon over Gambia to send the hosts through to the semifinals at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Indomitable Lions faced little to no resistance throughout and the victory ends Gambia’s dream AFCON debut at the quarterfinals. Cameroon will face the winner of Sunday’s match between Egypt and Morocco on Thursday.

Gambia manager Tom Saintfiet told his team to hold out for the opening thirty minutes in anticipation of a fierce Cameroonian start, and credit must be given to the Scorpions for accomplishing their early mission. Until Cameroon full back Collins Fai’s shot attempt close to the half hour mark, the hosts failed to threaten Gambia keeper Baboucarr Gaye.

The Indomitable Lions pushed in the final fifteen minutes of the first half and were able to set up star striker and captain Vincent Aboubakar for a couple of opportunities. Jean-Charles Castelletto’s 31st minute cross picked out Aboubakar but his firm header went just wide. Five minutes later the Al Nassr marksman thought he had the opener when he leaped onto a Samuel Oum Gouet cross, but Gaye did fantastically to make himself big and deny Aboubakar from point-blank range.

Gambia accomplished their mission of holding out for an extended period, but after halftime the game plan completely fell apart for the Scorpions. In the 52nd minute, Cameroon got their breakthrough and it was a goal far too easily conceded by Gambia. A quick throw-in on the right flank created space for a Fai cross and the Standard Liège player picked out Ekambi in the Gambian penalty area, who turned his powerful header past Gaye to send the home crowd into celebration.

Soon after, Gambia attempted to spark up their attack with a triple substitution but Cameroon took advantage of the ensuing confusion to double their lead. Cameroon midfielder Martin Hongla was sent in behind the defense on the left wing by a Moumi Ngamaleu pass and sent in a perfectly placed cross. Ekambi was wide open at the far post to smash home with emphasis past a helpless Gaye and Cameroon had the cushion they needed.

Highlights of the goals are below.

50′- Karl Toko Ekambi gives Cameroon the lead with a firm header

57′- Toko Ekambi completes his brace to put the Indomitable Lions beyond reach


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