2021 AFCON: Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao almost cost them game against Comoros – John Paintsil

Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Ekambi at AFCON.
Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Ekambi.

Ex-Ghana international John Painstil believes Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao almost cost the Indomitable Lions their 2021 AFCON Round 16 game against debutantes Comoros.

Olympique Lyon forward Karl Toko Ekambi smashed the opening goal for Cameroon just around the half-hour mark before Vincent Aboubakar grabbed his 6th goal of the competition as he keeps up the case on Ndaye Mulamba’s 9-goal record at the AFCON which happened in 1974.

Meanwhile, Youssouf M’Changama scored a headline-grabbing goal from a thunderous free-kick from 30 yards out. The Guingamp midfielder, who came into the tournament with 4 goals and 9 assists, won the MVP award of the match.

M’Changama’s goal left Cameroon hanging on for victory and a ticket to the quarter-final following the spirited performance which saw FIFA President Gianni Infantino applaud the first-timers from the Presidential box.

ALSO READ: 2021 AFCON: Ex-Arsenal star insists Comoros deserved to lose to Cameroon [GTV Sports+]

The Coelacanths had Abdou Nadjim sent off as early as the 7th minute following an incident.

Despite the numerical disadvantage which saw them play 83 minutes of regulation time with 10 men and a makeshift goalkeeper following the number of COVID-19 cases in their camp, they took the game down to the wire and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions had to hang on for the win.

During the post-match analysis on GTV Sports+, ex-Fulham and Ghana international defender John Paintsil believes the substitutions of Conceicao put Cameroon under pressure.

“I think the change from the Cameroonian coach by taking off Vincent Aboubakar also affected the team because he was the man leading the train for the Cameroonians. He was putting fear into the Comoros team. So when he took him off, then the pressure became worse for them. None of us expected the Comoros team to play the way they played,” he told Kwabena Yeboah.

“Cameroon were feeling guilty that they were playing against a team without a goalkeeper. But, playing against such teams that play good football. And, if you look at how Comoros were playing they were not playing a game that is extraordinary. I would say they were just chasing shadows. But, on one or two occasions they put in more pressure. But, I won’t take anything away from the goal they scored. It was a fantastic goal. It is a goal they worked for,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @AkyerekoWriter

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