Cameroon rose out of the ashes and from the cusp of defeat to secure a sweet win at the death against Algeria at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker to pick up a ticket to the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
The Indomitable Lions had suffered a narrow, confidence deflating 1-0 loss in front of 50,000 spectators; most of them home fans, who came to watch the debut of their Legend Rigobert Song as Indomitable Lions Coach.
An appointment that divided the landscape in Cameroon, Song was before the jury quick as was the man who handed him the job, Samuel Eto’o.
Whatever was said after that defeat certainly spurred the team and in the return leg of the World Cup play-off in Blida, they stunned the Algerians.
First it was the Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting who scored to level on aggregate.
Despite creating many chances between them there would be no more goal action until late in extra-time.
First it was Islam Slimani’s goal that was rightly chalked off for a handball before Ahmed Touba’s 118th goal sent the parked stands into a rapturous frenzy, Djamel Belmadi the man seeking redemption celebrated with his bench as Algeria were on their way back to the World Cup.
However, it’ll Cameroon who would have the last laugh and in the final throes of the game Lyon’s Karl Toko Ekambi swept home a knock down header to seal victory – game ended 2-2 on aggregate – on away goals rule.
It’s now only fitting that two of the Country’s biggest names engineered Cameroon’s return to the World Cup tournament for a record extending 8th time for an African team.
Mane gets another over Salah… Penalty deciders ends Egypt’s World Cup Hopes
For the second time in two months Edouard Mendy and Sadio Mane conquered Egypt, first handing them a Cup final defeat at the AFCON and then on Tuesday night denied the Pharaohs a World Cup spot later this year.
With the game tied at 1-1 on aggregate after Senegal cancelled out the first leg 1-0 defeat at the Cairo International Stadium, the game dragged on into extra time with some of the most fantastic action from a top draw fixture.
As the game edged closer into shoot outs, the 12th man at the Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade proved vital for the Teranga Lions.
The fans were a menace and they taunted and troubled the Egyptian players with laser beams on the penalty spot.
Mohamed Salah before his penalty miss against Senegal. pic.twitter.com/szlmfxDJkN
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2022
It was a ploy that worked and the conversion rate of the Visitors was piss poor, but so was that of Senegal in the their first and second attempts.
Eventually, with the shoot out now 2-1 after six attempts in total, Mendy pulled a good save with his leg denying Mostafa Mohamed – mind you Mohamed Salah played first blasting his effort high into the night skies.
Step forward Sadio Mane and he did accounted for the victory blasting home through the middle to beat the hitherto brilliant Mohammed El Shenawy.
Hence they join the CONMEBOL, AFC as the only Continental champions – thus far with exception of the eliminated Italy – to have qualified for the Winter tournament.