By Satish Sekar at Yaoundé’s Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo © Satish Sekar (February 5th 2022)
The Indomitable Lions’ captain, Vincent Aboubaker, had a bitter-sweet end to Cameroon’s second Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign. Cameroon’s captain scored the title winning goal in their unexpected win in 2017 and tonight he equalled the tally of the late Ivorian great Laurent Pokou in a single AFCON Finals.
Pokou scored 14 goals in just two AFCON Finals, 6 in Ethiopia in 1968 and two more in Sudan in 1970. Pokou’s record of 8 lasted just four years. It was broken by the late Pierre Ndaye Mulamba in 1974. At Egypt’s last AFCON, the then Secretary-General of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ensured that tribute was paid to the Zairean great at quarter-final matches.
Ndaye scored 9 goals in 1974, the only AFCON Finals to involve a replay. The midfielder scored braces in both the final and replay against Zambia, taking his tally from five goals to nine. Pokou scored eight goals in just five matches – two less than Aboubaker.
Nevertheless, the former Cottonsport de Garoua striker has joined the greats of African football. He is the first player to challenge Ndaye Mulamba’s record haul of goals in a single AFCON Finals in almost half a century.