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Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench to score a stunning victor with two minutes left as Cameroon fought back to beat Egypt 2-1 in a thrilling Africa Cup of Nations final in Libreville.

"They have a strong team spirit which is reflected in the way they defend from the front". Cameroon lost to Egypt the last time the two met in such a clash.

It was clear when they faced Ghana in the semifinals that the team had improved with each game, and they soaked up the Ghanaian pressure, sucking them in and hitting them with sweeping counter-attacking football that produced a killer second goal.

Cameroon responded well, Bassogog hitting a shot high and wide after Egypt keeper Essam El Hadary flapped a cross into his path, before Ondoa smothered a chance for Salah on the stroke of half-time.

"When I came to Cameroon a year ago, I found a group of players that were old and unmotivated", Broos told reporters.

Elneny gave Egypt the lead in the first only to be cut out by N'Koulou in an hour mark, the victor came late when Vincent Aboubakar scored a fabulous goal in the 88th minute.

Cameroon were without the services of eight players for the tournament, with Matip the highest-profile absentee after claiming that he has retired from global football, which would also rule him out of several Liverpool games.

Despite some good possession for Cameroon, they were not able to threaten Egypt's solid defence.

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny gave the Pharaohs the lead in the 22nd minute when he struck a sublime angled effort beyond the despairing hand of Fabric Ondoa.

With Cameroon in serious need of an equaliser in the AFCON final, they came out all guns blazing in the second half.

N'Koulou stalked into the firing line as Benjamin Moukandjo floated in a goalmouth cross from the left.

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will join Australia, Chile, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal and hosts Russian Federation at the tournament, which runs from 17 June to 2 July. But the voices were drowned out by Cameroon after it nullified a Gabon team including Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to send the hosts out at the first hurdle. The match went to penalties after a goalless 120 minutes in the southern Gabonese town of Franceville.

The Besiktas striker capped a fine performance with a brilliant victor two minutes from time, controlling Sebastien Siani's long pass on his chest before looping the ball over Ahmed Hegazy and volleying into the bottom-right corner.

  • Rogelio Becker