A late penalty awarded the Indomitable Lions by Gambian referee, Papa Gasama was what saved Cameroon from suffering a home defeat and in the process delayed Super Eagles early qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Eagles were coasting home to an imminent away victory, having taken a 30th minute lead courtesy of Samuel Moses strike only for the Lions to salvage the day in 75th minute when they were awarded a penalty.
Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa was adjudged by the referee to have fouled substitute Vincent Aboubakar in a one on one situation inside the six meter box. Ezenwa who apparently was going for the ball collided with the Lions striker with Gasama pointing to the spot. Aboubakar converted the penalty to put scores at 1-1.
The Lions after scoring the equalizer went all out for the winning goal. Their effort almost paid off with just five minutes left of play, only for Ezenwa to make a brilliant save that left him injured.
Ezenwa had after parrying Fabrice Olinga’s shot went for the rebound. He was hit in the chest while making the save and it took the medics some minutes to revive him. Ezenwa for the rest of the game felt some discomfort in his chest, but he managed to hang on until the final whistle.
With last night’s draw, the Eagles now lead the group comfortably with 10 points, while Cameroon are on three points.
Zambia would go into their game against Algeria today in Algiers with four points. Algeria are at the bottom of the group log with just one point.
With the draw against Eagles yesterday, Cameroon have effectively crashed out of the World Cup race. Should they (Cameroon) win their two remaining matches of the group, it won’t still be good enough for them to top the group as that would only leave them with nine points as against the 10 already garnered by Nigeria.