Da Es Salam (National Times)-Cameroon clinched gold at the finals of the Under 17 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Sunday April 28th in Dar Es Salam , Tanzania beating Guinea 5 goals to 3 after post match penalties.
Both countries played a goalless game before the indomitable lions picked victory after penalty shootout.
Today’s win for the boys of Coach Thomas Libih comes after a difficult start as the team settled for the tournament 2 weeks ago.
Three players in the squad prepared for the tournament were disqualified over age discrepancies. The rejection of the three youngsters slowed the ambition of Cameroon from the onset. Days after, the team regained stamina and tackled the tournament in super form.
Controversial reports emerged that, there was an extra eye on Cameroon’s squad at the tournament in a bit to reduce its chances. Media reports had also emerged with controversy over the size and age of Cameroonian players.
Despite these odds, Libih used his remaining armada of players to put the country on the spotlight throughout the tournament.
The Under 17 AFCON trophy thus returns to Samuel Eto’o Fils’ country after 16 years. The first time the country won the same tournament was in 2003.
The youngsters are expected to touch down at the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport at 11AM Monday April 29. Cameroon’s sports and physical education minister Nacisse Mouelle Kombi has issued a statement to that effect. Kombi has asked supporters to turn out massively to welcome the squad.
Shortly after the victory, President Paul Biya took to his twitter handle to congratulate the youngsters for making Cameroon proud. Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute equally tweeted moments after congratulating the under 17 lions on their achievement.
The team is also returning home with the trophy of the best player of the tournament awarded to Steve Mvoue.
The team’s next tournament comes up in November this year as the world cup in the same category goes underway in Brasil. Sports pundits have called for a proper follow up of the young talents to sustain their careers.