What you need to know:
- Ghazi Koubaa’s charges raced to a 5-1 lead in the fourth set thanks to Mohamed’s sideout. The lead grew to 13-8 when the impressive Ahmed shut out Dolegombai Sem with a stuff block.
- Libya’s middle blocker Alwaddani Anas killed an overpass from Cameroon substitute Badawe Djakode to put Libya 20-12 up. It’s Ahmed who got the match point before Cameroon opposite Brahim Adam sealed their own fate when his serve crashed on the net.
In Cairo, Egypt
A determined Libya side swept aside Cameroon 3-1 (22-25,25-22,25-23,25-15) on Wednesday to claim bronze at the ongoing African Nation Championship.
The crucial win sealed Libya’s slot at the FIVB World Championships set for 2025, only for the second time in history. The last time Libya played at the World Championships was in 1982 after finishing second in the 1979 continental tournament held in Tripoli to qualify.
Ahmed Ikhbayri led the North Africans with a game-high 24 points (20 kills, 3 blocks, 1 ace) while his brother Mohamed Ikhbayri added 21 points. Yvan Kody replied for Cameroon with 22 points (21 kills, 1 block) as the West African finished outside the podium for the first time since 2015.
Libya coach Ghazi Koubaa praised his charges for the historic win and tipped them to become one of the top sides in Africa.
“Today we had to confirm that our win against Cameroon in the group was not a fluke and I think the boys responded well after going down by a set. Our objective was qualifying for the World Championships and now the work has just started.
“We need to build on this win and give our team the best preparations possible. They missed the final narrowly which shows they have the potential to play at the high level. We can only get better from here,” said Koubaa.
Cameroon coach Malloum Abbas rued injuries to key players Yaoussia Kavoogo and Nathan Wounembaina for the loss which will see them miss the FIVB World Championships for the first time since 2018.
“The injuries really affected us, we tried to keep pushing but it was always going to be difficult without them on the court. We now need to go back to the drawing board and plan on how to come back stronger since some players will be retiring (from the national team) after this competition,” said Abbas.
In what was a repeat of their Group C encounter last week that Libya won with a similar margin to finish top of the pool, it’s Cameroon who started strongly winning the first set but faded in the second to allow Libya claw their way back into the game.
Ahmed produced two crucial kills that handed Libya the third set at 25-23 and there was only one winner from there.
“I’m happy with how Ahmed played today. He is an important player for us in attack and today he gave us a lot of solutions in difficult moments which is what we expect from him,” said Koubaa.
Ghazi Koubaa’s charges raced to a 5-1 lead in the fourth set thanks to Mohamed’s sideout. The lead grew to 13-8 when the impressive Ahmed shut out Dolegombai Sem with a stuff block.
Libya’s middle blocker Alwaddani Anas killed an overpass from Cameroon substitute Badawe Djakode to put Libya 20-12 up. It’s Ahmed who got the match point before Cameroon opposite Brahim Adam sealed their own fate when his serve crashed on the net.