Gambia 0-2 Cameroon: Lively Toko Ekambi stings Scorpions on the way to Afcon semis
Toko Ekambi of Cameroon.
The former African champions were too good for the debutants in the last eight encounter

Cameroon progressed to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals after a 2-0 win over The Gambia in a quarter-final game played in Douala on Saturday.

Karl Toko Ekambi registered a brace that ended the Scorpions fairytale in the continental showpiece and booked a slot for the hosts in the next phase.

The well-grilled Gambia defence managed to keep the Cameroonian attackers at bay for the opening 10 minutes as the hosts were forced to retreat deep into their area and relaunch strikes.

Noah Sundberg did well to clear an aerial pass brought into the box by Toko Ekambi before Vincent Aboubakar, who was lurking around, could connect to it and cause havoc in the 11th minute. 

Aboubakar, the tournament's top scorer, saw his attempt on goal, after receiving a Moumi Ngamaleu cross, cleared by Sundberg in the 12th minute as the Indomitable Lions created their first big chance. 

Sundberg - The Gambia's outstanding defender, especially in the opening minutes - became the first player to be yellow-carded in the 21st minute after a cynical challenge on the Cameroonian captain.

Cameroon were forced to throw more men upfront as the Gambia preferred sitting back. 

Nouhou Tolo's 26th-minute low drive was so weak that goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye had no problem collecting it. So Cameroon's rare chance went to waste. A few minutes later, Collins Fai's ferocious long-range shot went slightly wide as the debutants survived.

Aboubakar came close to scoring his seventh goal of the tournament when he moved fast enough to head Jean-Charles Castelletto's delivery at the half-hour mark. The Cameroon captain swiftly moved to his left and connected to the cross before Gambia's Gomez James could clear as the hosts started to create more chances.

Gaye's point-blank save helped the Scorpions not go down in the 35th minute. The goalkeeper spread his body to block Aboubakar's close-range header - after rising to meet Moumi Ngamaleu's cross from the right-wing - as the debutants survived another scare.

Toko Ekambi scored in the 50th minute when he directed an excellent header into the net. The Lyon star beat Gomez to the aerial ball delivered by Fai from the right wing and scored the opener to reward the Indomitable Lions' goal-searching efforts.

Fai almost got himself on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute when he was sent through on goal by Zambo Anguissa only for his effort to go out slightly as Cameroon spent more time in the opponent's half.

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A lively Toko Ekambi registered a brace in the 57th minute when the Gambia could not stop the good build-up engineered by the 2017 champions. The Scorpions defenders could not clear a Martin Hongla's low cross that Ekambi collected on the far end to tap home and punish the disjointed opponents as he recorded his fifth goal of the competition.

The 75th-minute change by Cameroon - when Clinton N'Jie was brought on - meant Toko Ekambi had no more time to score his sixth and go level with Aboubakar on the scorers' chart.

Aboubakar could have made it 3-0, but he ended up shooting wide inside the box when the Gambia were caught napping at the back in the 87th minute.