Date: January 24th, 2015
Venue: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
Time: 21:00 (CAT)
Match Result: Cameroon 1 – 1 Guinea
Goal Scorers: Benjamin Moukandjo (13′); Ibrahima Traore (42′)
The GSV Top Class Award
After the preceding fixture between Ivory Coast and Mali produced the group’s 3rd straight 1-1 draw, Cameroon and Mali went into their encounter with the hope of securing a victory which would see either side climb to the summit of the Group D table. A strong start from the Indomitable Lions gave strong signs that the victory drought in the group would end, with the pressure resulting in a cheeky Benjamin Moukandjo goal. The Guinea side, who were under tremendous pressure from the onset, took 35 minutes to produce their first notable attack on goal, forcing a solid save from Cameroon’s Ondoa. That attempt, as we soon discovered, was a warning shot that would lead us to the winner of the GSV Top Class Award, in the form of a real striker’s effort by Borussia Monchengladbach player Ibrahima Traore. The 26-year-old found himself in possession just outside the 18 yard area and, with 4 Cameroon shirts in close proximity, turned, took a touch and shot the ball past keeper Ondoa in what looked like a single motion. Neither the defence nor the keeper were able to anticipate or prevent the striker’s instinctive finish, and for that, Ibrahima Traore takes our GSV Top Class Award.
The GSV Class Clown Award
The fact that this group has failed to produce a victory is not for a lack of trying. In all four games so far, teams have tried their best to pull away, and this game was an indication of why this has been so difficult in the group of draws. Having taken the early lead, Cameroon created numerous chances in an attempt to extend their lead, and even after conceding the equaliser, chances to win the game went a begging. The Indomitable Lions recorded 16 shots at goal, of which only 5 were on target. That statistic can be matched up against Guinea, whose 3 shots on target out of 11 attempts is as appalling. While it is exciting that after 2 games all 4 teams are level, the level of finishing will have to improve drastically if there is to be a clear winner in the group. So the GSV Top Class Award must go to both sides for poor finishing, on the parts of both Cameroon and Guinea.
The Grand Stand View
4 draws out of 4 have left the picture unclear in Group D, and with both teams having had periods of sustained pressure, both will be kicking themselves at their failure to convert their chances. Cameroon, who’s returning Stephane Mbia failed to mark his return to the side with a late winner, will hopefully go into the final group fixture with a new set of scoring boots, while Guinea, who weren’t the most favoured of the four sides to progress, will be looking to cause something of an upset in their final fixture. It will be interesting to see which 2 sides will advance from this group, and more interesting to see who will manage a win in the much talked about ‘Group Of Draws’.