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AFCON: We’re sad but lost to a better team, says Cameroon manager

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Cameroon national team manager Antonio Conceiçao has expressed sadness at his team’s failure to reach the finals of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), admitting however that his team lost to a better side.

The hosts Cameroon were knocked out of the 2021 AFCON tournament after losing 1-3 to Egypt in a penalty shootout following a goalless draw after extra time in the semifinals on Thursday in Yaounde.

Conceiçao speaking at a post-match press conference rued his team’s missed chances at goal, adding that the Egyptians exploited their weaknesses.

“The team played well during the 90 minutes 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,” he said.

He noted that his boys lost steam after a very intense first half and failed to conserve their energy for the later part of the game.

“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.”

The hosts saw their hopes of AFCON glory and a sixth title on home soil ended in cruel fashion.

The defeat comes as a major blow to the hosts, whose troubled tournament was overshadowed by the stadium crush that led to eight deaths last week.

However, they must still get through a third-place play-off against Burkina Faso on Saturday as they seek to end their campaign on a high.

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