AFCON 2021: Cameroon stages dramatic comeback against Burkina Faso to finish third

Hosts Cameroon ended their Africa Cup of Nations campaign on a high by claiming third place at the tournament after defeating Burkina Faso 5-3 in a penalty shootout following a dramatic late comeback against their opponents at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé.

The Indomitable Lions had trailed Burkina Faso 3-0 at one point as Steeve Yago, an own goal by André Onana and Djibril Ouattara had given the Stallions what seemed like an unassailable lead after 50 minutes.

FILE PHOTO: Cameroon’s forward Vincent Aboubakar (C) celebrates after scoring during a past Africa Cup of Nations match. /CFP

However, Stephane Bahoken grabbed a consolation goal in the 71st minute for the five-time winners firing the ball into the net from close-range.

With five minutes of normal time to go, Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar, who had come on at halftime, headed in a corner from fellow substitute Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu to cut the deficit to just one goal.

Aboubakar then leveled the tie in the 87th minute with his eighth goal of the tournament capitalizing on an error by Burkina Faso goalkeeper Soufian Farid Ouédraogo.

Aboubakar’s strike meant he became the first player to reach the eight-goal mark in a single AFCON campaign in 48 years. The last player to hit such a milestone was Ndaye Mulamba of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who scored nine goals during the 1974 tournament.

With the match level at the end of normal time, the game went straight to penalties where Cameroon successfully converted all their spot-kicks but Ibrahim Touré, crucially, missed Burkina Faso’s third effort.

Victory meant Cameroon have now finished in the top three in at least 10 AFCON tournaments while Burkina Faso, who also lost the opening group match of the competition to Cameroon, missed out on a bronze medal for the second time in three AFCON tournaments.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)