Cameroon coach, Antonio Conceiçao, has blamed fatigue for the team’s defeat to Egypt in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final clash. Conceiçao spoke during a post-match press conference on Thursday evening. The PUNCH had reported that Egypt scaled through to the final of the 2021 AFCON after defeating hosts Cameroon 3-1 in a penalty shootout following a goalless draw after extra time in Yaounde.
During the match, Egypt’s coach was shown a red card for losing his temper on the touchline. Salah, usually the fifth penalty-taker for his country, was not needed as Egypt advanced to a final showdown against Sadio Mane’s Senegal back at the Olembe Stadium on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Egyptians went down at every opportunity, regularly looking to eat up time and frustrate their opponents. Usually, they eventually stood up again unscathed, and they ended the game with 11 players but coach Queiroz – who was already missing one of his assistants to a ban – was shown a red card at the end of normal time for losing his temper on the touchline.
The Cameroon coach said, “The team played well during the 90′ trying to score goals but we didn’t succeed. 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.”
This was Egypt’s third extra time in as many knockout ties after they needed penalties to beat the Ivory Coast in the last 16 and an extra half-hour to overcome Morocco in the quarter-finals. Extra time passed with penalties always seeming inevitable, and Aboubakar was the only successful taker for Cameroon as they go out.
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