News Live Scores
Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: 'Cameroon saved energy to counter Egypt in vain' - Conceicao

08:02 GMT 04/02/2022
Cameroon Players 2022 Afcon
The hosts fell in the semi-finals as the Pharaohs won a penalty shootout to seal a final date with Senegal

Cameroon coach Antonio Conceicao believes fatigue played a role in his team's loss to Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final played on Thursday night at the Paul Biya Stadium in Yaounde.

The hosts had come into the match as favourites and pushed hard for a goal, but their opponents did not give them an easy time.

At the end of 120 minutes, neither of the two African heavyweights had managed to find the back of the net.

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.

As a result, Egypt advanced by virtue of a 3-1 scoreline to set up a date with Senegal in the final while Cameroon will play Burkina Faso in the third-place play-off.

"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."

After making it to the final, Egypt assistant coach Diaa Elsayed insisted their mission will only be completed once they are crowned champions.

"Each time, the Egyptian team are favourites to win the tournament," the tactician stated.

"Tonight we played the usual game and we managed to reach the final. I would like to thank our coach Carlos Queiroz who was expelled during the game as well as all the players who made a difference... throughout the tournament.

"We are happy, it's true, but we have not yet reached the final objective: the coronation. I can also add that our background is also due to the presence of one of the great players in our training, namely Mohamed Salah. A very essential player in our team and who remains the centerpiece for us."

Mohamed Abdelmoneim was voted the Man of the Match and went on to laud his captain for the impact he had on Thursday night.

"It was a good match for us. A difficult match against a good Cameroonian team but our team knew how to make the difference with Mohamed Salah who supported us throughout the match like a great leader," Abdelmoneim said of the Liverpool star.

"Thank God, we succeeded in our penalty shootout to secure a place in the final

The final will be played on Sunday night at the same venue.