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Payet Robs Cameroon of Dramatic Draw in Nantes

 Georges Mandjeck fights for the ball with Payet  © Sky Sports

Georges Mandjeck fights for the ball with Payet © Sky Sports

 

The West Ham United dead ball specialist was on hand to produce another feat of wizardry from a free kick in additional time to deny the Lions a deserve draw in Nantes-France in an entertaining international friendly.

Choupo Moting had leveled the match at two-all with barely three minutes to go, but Dimitri Payet beat Cameroon’s Fabrice Ondoa for the third time in the match with a 90th minute goal from a free kick

France took the lead just after 20 minutes through Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Blaise Matuidi but the boys of Didier Deschamps had not even settled down from the goal celebration when Fabrice Ondoa found the enterprising Zoua Dougary with a long pass and who succeeded  to find Alain Nyom racing towards the byline and feed Vincent Aboubakar  with a superb assist to level the score..

Olivier Giroud restored France's lead just before the break as the French took a 2-1 lead into  the recess. Cameroon labored for long spells in the second segment before Eric Maxim Choupo-netted the equalizer.

All the over 40,000 spectators at the Stade De la Beaujoire de Nantes and the million watching on TV thought that it was all over, Dimitri Payet pulled one off his sleeve again, curling a sublime free kick over the Cameroon goalie.

The match acted as a warm up for both teams as they prepare for major matches in the days ahead. Cameroon plays against Mauritania at the Stade Olumpique in Nouakchott this Friday in the penultimate match of Group M in the African Nations Qualifiers for Gabon 2017.  France meanwhile is hosting the 2016 Euro and kick start the competition on June 10 against Romania in Paris.

Cameroon tops the group on 8 points, one ahead of Mauritania in second. South Africa is third on 3 points and the Gambia on 2 points at the bottom.

By Abongwa Fozo