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Mauritania winger Silly Sanghare races down for the ball under pressure from Cameroon’s Bryan Djille during their CAF Under-20 Cup of Nations opener in Nouakchott on February 14, 2021. PHOTO/CAF Online

Football

Cameroon edge resilient Mauritania in U-20 AFCON opener

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, Feb 14 – Cameroon made a winning start to their Total Africa U-20 Cup of Nations after beating hosts Mauritania 1-0 in an entertaining encounter at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Sunday night.

Junior Sunday Jang scored the all-important goal for the young lions of Cameroon who are making their tenth appearance at the biennial tournament.

Coach Ousmanou Bonaventure’s side had to dig deep to secure the points against the junior Mourabitounes who were making their debut in the tournament.

The dominated most parts of the match but failed to make it count against lions who were happy to defend in numbers and protect their goal.

Mauritania showed intent from the first whistle with Silly Sangareh the architect of their moves down the left channel.

The tricky winger had the first sniff at goal after 11 minutes, regaining possession just inside the Cameroon half, skipping away from a couple of challenges before his effort was blocked.

The Lions upped the ante midway through the first half with Alioum Moubarak causing mayhem on the right flank with speed.

Buoyed by the classy opening ceremony the hosts came close twice through Oumar Mbareck and Adama Diop but either troubled the keeper.

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Oumar who wore the famous number 10 found space on the right cutting inside but his left footed effort failed to hit the target. Diop combined with Youssef War in a swift counter attack which exposed the Cameroon defence but the Lions recovered to clear their from Youssef’s cut back.

Cameroon started the second half with more purpose and came close to breaking the deadlock just after restart. Alioum Moubarak’s cross from the right was just about gathered by Mohamed in the Mauritania goal while Sunday Junior was lucking behind.

The two sides continued to cancel each other in the middle of the whiles trying to break on the counter attack.

Silly Sangare beat two Cameroonian defenders on the left channel after the hour mark; his delightful cross into the area was hastily dealt by Cameroon’s captain Meyapya Fongain who marshalled the defence.

Sunday Junior settled the match nine minutes from when he latched on to Abou Diallo’s weak back pass, running the onrushing keeper before poking the ball into an unguarded goal to hand Cameroon the best possible start to the tournament.

-By CAF Online

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