AFCON 2021 Finals: Group A
- Cameroon 2-1 Burkina Faso
- Ethiopia 0-1 Cape Verde
AFCON 2021 hosts Cameroon recovered from a goal down to edge Burkina Faso during the official opening game (Group A) of the 2021 AFCON finals at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde on Sunday, January 9, 2022.
Vincent Aboubaker scored a brace for the Indomitable Lions, both well struck penalties.
It is Burkina Faso’s Gustavo Sangare who netted the opening goal of the championship on 24 minutes, a perfectly drilled stab off skipper Bertrand Traore’s inviting cross from the right.
Traore turned villain when his tackle on Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa needed a lengthy review by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to award the penalty.
Aboubaker shot on the left of goalkeeper Herve Koffi who dived in the opposite direction on the right.
The hosts got yet another penalty after Issoufou Dayo fouled defender Tolo Nouhou.
Once again, Aboubaker scored from 12 yards. This time striking the ball to the right of the goalkeeper who dived to his left.
In the second half, a goal by Aboubaker to complete his hat-trick was denied by VAR.
Cameroon will return to action on Thursday, against CECAFA region country Ethiopia.
Before official opening match, there was a colourful opening ceremony attended by Cameroon head of state Paul Biya, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF boss Patrice Motsepe, alongside other Federation heads including Uganda’s Moses Hassim Magogo.
The 2021 AFCON was delayed by a year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and was put in doubt last month as CAF considered cancelling the tournament last month.
Cameroon has won the championship on five counts.
The second game witnessed Cape Verde beat CECAFA region representatives Ethiopia 1-0.
Ethiopia were red carded after just 12 minutes.
Team Line Ups:
Cameroon XI: Andre Onana (G.K), Moumi Ngamaleu, Michael Ngadeu, Andre Zambo, Vincent Aboubakar (Captain), Karl Toko, Samuel Oum, Pierre Kunde, Collins Fai, Jerome Onguene, Tolo Nouhou
Burkina Faso XI: Herve Koffi (G.K), Patrick Malo, Issa Kabore, Bertrand Traore (Captain), Issoufou Dayo, Abdoul Tapsoba, Gustavo Sangare, Cyrille Barros, Blati Toure, Adama Guira, Steeve Yago