Togo shocked Cameroon by holding the Indomitable Lionesses to a 1-1 draw in Group B action at the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations on Wednesday. The Togolese lacked the nerves and struggles that characterized their opening match defeat to Tunisia and delivered an impressive defensive performance to split the points with Africa’s second ranked side. Second place in the group will be up for grabs when Cameroon face Tunisia while Togo will attempt to shock Zambia on Saturday for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Togo got off to a much improved start compared to their disastrous opening twenty seconds against Tunisia and Cameroon encountered a difficult and focused opponent. Cameroon still looked more likely to score early on and had an excellent look around the quarter hour mark. Gabrielle Onguéné sent in a defense splitting pass from the right wing to pick out Catherine Mbengono but the midfielder fired off target with only Togo goalkeeper Amé Amouklou to beat.
The underdogs would fight back and stun the Cameroonian supporters by taking the lead in the 28th minute. A free kick lofted into the penalty area from out wide saw the ball headed away as Togo’s Odette Gnintegma challenged and was knocked to the ground. However, a Video Assistant Referee review determined that Cameroon goalkeeper Ange Bawou arrived late and fouled Gnintegma after a defender headed clear and a penalty kick was awarded. Mafille Woedikou sent her low spot kick just by Bawou to open the scoring.
It took around ten minutes for the Indomitable Lionesses to respond and star Onguéné was involved. The CSKA Moscow player sent in a well placed free kick from the left wing to find defender Estelle Johnson and the Gotham FC player headed past a charging Amouklou for the equalizer. Onguéné nearly gave Cameroon the lead before halftime with a direct free kick that was excellently curled but went off the corner of the goal frame and out of play.
Togo continued to frustrate the Cameroonian attack as the favorites struggled to test Amouklou in the second half. Cameroon had a couple of looks and controlled the play but competition debutants Togo held out for their first ever point in the WAFCON and celebrated a dream result.
Highlights are below.