Cameroon reserved their best 2012 CAF African Nations Cup qualifying performance for last as they came from behind twice to triumph 3-2 in the Congo DR today. The Group E clash at the 80,000-seat Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa was all about pride as Senegal had already taken an unassailable lead in a pool completed by Mauritius and runners-up Cameroon were out of contention to be among the best two and secure a tournament place.
It was the first match in charge for new Congo DR coach Claude Le Roy, the widely travelled and experienced Frenchman who took the vast Central African country to the 2006 Nations Cups quarter-finals during a previous spell in charge. He saw Dioko Kaluyituka put the home team ahead after 12 minutes, record four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o equalise soon after and Deo Kanda revive hope of a Congolese victory with a goal five minutes before half-time.
Cameroon, held at home by Congo DR last October before taking only one point of a possible six off Senegal, scored twice within five minutes to clinch their third group win after home and away successes against the Mauritians. Matthew Andongcho, who recently quit the United States to join Romanian outfit Dynamo Bucharest, levelled on 75 minutes and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of German club Mainz snatched the winner.
Another 15 fixtures will be staged Saturday and five Sunday as countries chase ten places at the biennial African football showcase to be staged between 21 January and 12 February by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Apart from the co-hosts and 2002 runners-up Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and surprise qualifiers Botswana have secured berths at the Cup of Nations while Cameroon and defending champions Egypt will be shock absentees.