Date: January 20th, 2015
Venue: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
Time: 21:00 (CAT)
Match Result: Mali 1 – 1 Cameroon
Goal Scorers: 1-0, Sambou Yatabaré 71’; 1-1, Ambroise Oyongo 84’
The GSV Top Class Award
For the first time in the short history of this award, we will have a set of brothers taking the honours; Sambou and Mustapha Yatabaré were truly the difference makers for The Eagles, Sambou will win the GSV Top Class Award for his goal while his brother Mustapha will share the award with him for the enterprise he showed on the field. It will be interesting to see whether Mustapha will let his younger brother hold it or if the younger Sambou will feel he earned it because of his well taken strike.
The GSV Class Clown Award
It’s never nice to see a player come in as a substitute in the 17th minute and get taken off in the 78th minute, but the fact that Franck Kom did himself no favours by failing to step up to the plate and show that he could be a starting player for The Indomitable Lions after coming on for the injured Eyong Enoh proves why the lad should undoubtedly be the holder of our GSV Class Clown Award. It showed great character from his gaffer to yank him off after sending him on to do a job, yet the Etoile du Sahel midfielder needs to have a look at himself after this encounter because he may have wasted his shot at starting against Guinea if Enoh is not passed fit by Saturday.
The Grand Stand View
While many expected to see Mali sit back and look to play the exciting young Cameroon side on the break, The Eagles took the game to their opponents with great industry from Wolverhampton Wanderers’ forward Bakary Sako who created chances that his fellow attackers failed to capitalise on. Cameroon struggled with injuries for large parts of the opening half, an issue that brings into question the conditioning training of the players; its no secret that gaffers at domestic level shun the tournament due to the fear of players incurring injuries that they feel could have been avoidable. The young Indomitable Lions were struggling to get themselves involved in the game offensively during the first half and one could have been forgiven for thinking they are still a while away from becoming a true force to be reckoned with in this tournament. Cameroon started the second stanza with more offensive intentions, pegging their opponents back and creating the type of chances we had expected them to create from the offset; the lesson to be learnt was a painful one, you need to take your chances at this level or risk being punished by your opponents. The Eagles soared to take the lead, very much against the run of play, as Sambou Yatabaré found the back of the net from a well worked move. Cameroon were managing to keep Sako quiet after he tore them to bits in the 1st half, it was this defensive discipline that ensured the score remained at a manageable 1-0. Cameroon continued to attack and seek an equalizer, yet their youthful attack was unable to make the most of their chances and they should consider themselves lucky to have been bailed out by defender Ambroise Oyongo who took the onus on himself to show the attackers how to attack and finish well for his first international goal. A frantic and eventful last ten minuetes ended with a disallowed goal, a questionable penalty call and a minor clash with some well seasoned theatrical after for added taste.