After playing 210 minutes without ever being in position to advance beyond Algeria in their playoff, Cameroon is heading to the 2022 World Cup thanks to what has to be one of the latest qualification-clinching goals in history.
Cameroon lost their home leg 1-0 last week, but managed to get the match to overtime thanks to a 1-0 win during regulation of the Algeria leg on Tuesday. Algeria dominated the extra time period and pulled ahead with a goal in the 118th minute, which seemed enough to put them through.
But in the 4th minute of overtime stoppage time, Cameroon got a goal from Karl Toko Ekambi off a throw-in that shocked the Algerian players, coaches, fans and even the ESPN announcer.
118’ Algeria ⚽️— Eric Njiru (@EricNjiiru) March 29, 2022
120+4’ Cameroon ⚽️
Football is full of surprises. Algeria thought they had won it. pic.twitter.com/xWylBJ9uGp
Making the loss even more painful for Algeria was that they had two goals disallowed during the second leg. The first was for offside that replays seemed to indicate was questionably flagged, and the other was overturned by VAR after it was determined a foul or handball infraction had occurred.
After starting the first leg and playing well enough to be given Cameroon’s highest rating by FotMob, Nouhou came off the bench in this one and logged 57 minutes. In that limited time, he was credited with three clearances, three interceptions and eight recoveries while completing 7 of 11 passes. Earlier this year, Nouhou was also a key part of Cameroon’s third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations.