Cameroon’s penalty shoot-out hero Fabrice Ondoa felt hours of study were rewarded as he thwarted Sadio Mane to dump favourites Senegal out of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Ondoa, who is the reserve keeper for Sevilla’s second-string Atletico side, was named man of the match following a tense quarter-final, where he and his team-mates came under considerable pressure for 120 goalless minutes.
After eight perfect penalties, the 21-year-old repelled Liverpool star Mane – the most expensive player in African history – leaving Vincent Aboubakar to emphatically pick out the top corner and book a semi-final against either DR Congo or Ghana.
“I think these penalties came from a great job we’ve been doing,” Ondoa told a post-match news conference. “It is not a job that can happen in one day or one hour.
“We have been studying this Senegal team for a long time.
“I knew that Mane is a great player, he has a lot of great qualities. He is a big player
“I have to wait in this penalty. I did not want to jump first and when he moved I tried to follow the path of the ball.”
Ondoa hinted taking Aliou Cisse’s gifted side to spot-kicks had been identified as a potentially fruitful path to victory by the Indomitable Lions.
“The difference was very clear – it was decided in the penalties and what happened was something that we could foresee easily,” he explained.
“We’ve seen Senegal playing very well with their individual qualities.
“But Cameroon are very good and have shown that they are a great nation of football today.”
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