Women’s AFCON 2016: Hosts become first team to reach final




Without yet conceding a goal, the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon are now one match away from clinching their first ever African crown after seeing off Ghana 1-0 in the first semi-final of the 10th Women’s Africa Cup of Nations at the Ahmadu Ahidjio Stadium in Yaounde.

It took a goal mouth scramble in the 71st minute for Raissa Feudjio to finally break the deadlock in a game that exhibited so much intensity and physicality.

The hosts have remained the invincibles of the tournament, amassing nine points from their three group matches as they eased into the semi-finals, while Ghana made sure of their progress to the knockout round, in their third group game against Mali to finish second in Group B.

In what was a repeat of the 2015 All Africa Games final, Cameroon – backed by a sold-out crowd – dominated play from the first blast of the whistle, with Gabrielle Onguene producing a player of the match performance.

In the 25th minute, the winger, who was a constant terror to the Ghanaian defense watched her shot from the left beat the keeper but hit the post. Even as Gaelle Enganamouit and Ajara both had opportunities to put the hosts in the lead.

Ghana had a quick counter attack at some point but could not execute properly.

Nine minutes into the second half, Enganamouit, who kept hovering inside and around Ghana’s penalty area, saw her header hit the wood work. And by the 71st minute the stadium erupted when the Lionesses finally penetrated Ghana’s defense off an Onguene freekick.

Ghana’s keeper, Ama Nana Asantewaa, had caught the ball in the air but she spilled it. Enganamouit and Ajara’s attempts were blocked but Fedjio’s could not be stopped.

Nana would soon be stretchered off, but Cameroon had done enough to win the game and move into the final of the eight-nation tournament for the third time.

The final of the 10th Women’s Africa Cup of Nations comes up on December 3 at the Ahmadu Ahidjio Stadium in Yaounde.

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