By John Essien
Antonio Conceicao, Coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon believes fatigue played a role in his team’s loss to Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final.
In a pulsating clash between two of the most decorated teams on the continent, Egypt defeated Cameroon 3-1 via penalties at the Paul Biya Stadium in Yaounde to progress into the final.
The hosts had come into the match as favourites and pushed hard for a goal, but their opponents held on defensively to take the encounter into extra time where neither of the two African heavyweights broke the deadlock.
In the penalty shootout that followed, the Pharaohs scored their three penalties while the Indomitable Lions scored one and failed to convert the other three.
“The team played well during the 90 minutes trying to score goals but we didn’t succeed,” Conceicao said as quoted by the Caf official site.
“We are as sad as the 27 million Cameroonians, but I think the Egyptian team knew how to counter us. We’re sad but it’s the reality. The players felt some signs of fatigue at the end of the match, especially after a very physical and intense first half. We had tried to save our energy to counter the opponent but in vain.”
With the win, the Pharoahs set up a date with Senegal in the final while on Sunday, while Cameroon will play Burkina Faso in the third-place play-off a day before.