Facing elimination from the Women’s World Cup and desperately searching for a late goal to push them through to the knockout rounds, Cameroon countered a late New Zealand throw-in with a burst forward toward the Football Ferns’ net in the 95th minute. It was Cameroon’s goal, but most of the credit should go to midfielder Ajara Nchout (who was also responsible for her team’s first goal on the day).
The 26-year-old, who plays for Norwegian club Valerenga, received the ball 50 yards from goal, charged forward, deked New Zealand defender Ria Percival twice—including a crucial and vicious cutback that opened up acres of space—and slotted in one of the goals of the tournament:
With that, Cameroon advance to their second straight World Cup knockout round, following their Cinderella run to the round of 16 in their debut four years ago. New Zealand, meanwhile, travel home with zero points and only one goal scored, from a Cameroonian own goal in the 80th minute of today’s game.
Cameroon will now face one of two tournament heavyweights in the round of 16. Depending on what happens in the last set of games today, the Indomitable Lionesses (what a nickname) will face off against either England or France.