Cameroon is set to face-off with Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final after putting away Ghana in the semi-final stage.
The young and unfancied Cameroon side saw off the Black Stars thanks to two late second-half strikes.
The much-anticipated meeting between the Indomitable Lions and the Black Stars proved to be a cagey affair with both sides struggling to take full control of the game.
Ghana had a commanding start with Christian Atsu threatening the from the right with his weaving runs and wanting crosses. Cameroon wrestled back control soon after as both teams fought fiercely.
Cameroon’s Ngadeu-Ngadjui had a header cleared off the line by Harrison Afful before Atsu and new Swansea boy Jordan Ayew combined to almost devastating effect with the latter’s shot whistling past the goal post.
The second half began with Ghana putting Cameroon under intense pressure and it was almost against the run of play that Ghana fell behind.
Thanks to a moment of poor collective defending, Ghana conceded a free-kick a few yards from the box. The ball was crossed into the box but fell to Ghana’s John Boye whose clearance unfortunately gifted Ngadeu-Ngadjui at the back post.
Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui kindly dispatched the ball into the net to the delight of the neutral watching fans in Gabon.
The goal seemed to have woken Ghana up with manager Avram Grant showing his cards by immediately bringing on star man Asamoah Gyan.
The Black Stars responded by taking the game to Cameroon but were still unable to find a way through.
Ghana pilled almost all of its players forward in a desperate search of an equalizer as the game entered stoppage time.
Hugo Broos’ side then put all doubts to bed when Bassogog combined with Vincent Aboubakar to counter-attack an empty Ghanian half.
Bassogog ran more than half of the length of the pitch before chipping the ball past Brimah to seal the win sending the bench into raptures.
The Black Stars were left looking into the skies wondering what they would have to do to lift the continent’s most prestigious prize.
Dubbed Africa’s nearly men, Ghana has since 2008 reached the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations six consecutive times without winning it. Their barren run in the competition stretches to 35 years.
“I am more than unhappy. We wanted so much to be in the final,” said Grant.
“We did everything to be there and in the second half, we completely dominated. Congratulations to Cameroon of course but we were the better side and we lost.”
Cameroon, on the other hand, has not mounted a serious challenge for the Africa Cup of Nations since 2002 when Samuel Eto’o guided his country to a second successive title.
The Indomitable Lions were this year forced to contend with a dispute over bonus payments and the refusal of high-profile players to play for the team.
“It is a real dream for us to get to the final,” said Broos.
“Ghana have more experience than us – look at what they have done in recent tournaments. But since the start of this tournament, we have shown we keep going right to the end in every game.”
“I am very happy, especially for the team. They are an exemplary group on and off the field and they deserve to be in the final.”