In arguably the game of the qualifying rounds, Cameroon’s U-17 team narrowly edged their Ethiopian counterpart 5-4 on penalties in the CAF World Cup qualifier.
Ethiopia won the game 2-1 to tie the score on aggregate as Cameroon had won the first leg with a similar scoreline.
The Little Lucy as they are called, were in firm control for the opening 30 minutes as they struck twice in space of 11 minutes to make the score 2-0 and hand Ethiopia the lead on aggregate with goals from Tideg Fisseha and Yimserach Lakew.
Cameroon’s constant pressure to get a goal back came into full throttle for most of the second half and got the goal in dramatic fashion, three minutes from time through Alexandra Takounda. Takounda struck outside of the box to level matters on aggregate.
Carole Mimboe was decisive for Cameroon between the sticks, as she denied Ethiopia a place in the last qualifying round by saving two penalties to make sure Cameroon’s progress.
Ethiopian U-17 women’s national team coach Asrat Abate bemoaned his side’s inexperience.
“The team has no experience. The result is not that bad considering we were only knocked out with a penalty shootout. In the second half we wanted to kill the game. However, they players were eager to defend the lead. That is the result of inexperience,” explained Abate.
Meanwhile, Cameroon’s coach Minkero Birwe praised his charges for their mental strength after going down earlier in the game.
“The game was splendid. We have seen two strong sides. The Ethiopians are brilliant technically and we were in good shape psychologically. In the first half, a minor lapse of concentration made us to find ourselves trailing 2-0. Nevertheless we rectified our mistakes and came out stronger in the second half.”
Cameroon takes on the winner of Egypt and Djibouti after Egypt defeated Djibouti 6-0 in the first leg.
Courtesy Soccer Ethiopia