Sunday, January 9
•Cameroon 2-1 Burkina Faso
•Ethiopia 0-1 Cape Verde
Monday, January 10
•Senegal Vs Zimbabwe – 4pm
•Guinea Vs Malawi – 7pm
•Morocco Vs Ghana – 7pm
•Comoros Vs Gabon – 10pm
Hosts Cameroon got off the mark with a hard fought victory over Burkina Faso in the opening game of the rescheduled 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Indomitable Lions needed to come from down after Burkinabe had taken a lead in Yaounde on Sunday.
Captain Vincent Aboubaker led Cameroon’s riot with two well taken penalties to cancel out Gustavo Sangare’s opener at Olembe Stadium.
Cameroon failed to defend well a brilliant cross from Bertrand Traore (Aston Villa) to allow Sangare (Quevilly-Rouen, French Ligue 2) bundle home in the 24th minute.
But the home support erupted after they were awarded a penalty after a VAR Check – Forward Traore tripped Andre Anguissa (Napoli) in the box in the 36th minute.
And captain Aboubakar (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia) converted from the spot brilliantly to sent the home crowd into wild celebrations.
Referee Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria) pointed to the spot at the stroke of halftime when Fai Collins brought down Issoufou Dayo in the box, for Aboubaker to hand Cameroon the lead.
Aboubakar, who scored the winner when Cameroon last lifted the Nations Cup in 2017, could have scored a hat-trick but his third goal was ruled for offside after a tight VAR call.
It was an incredible performance for the five time winners inspired by Aboubaker who scored the winning goal as Cameroon last lifted AFCON in 2017.
The hosts who were beaten by Nigeria in the round of 16 in the 2019 AFCON, will face Ethiopia on Thursday before ending their group A campaign with Cape Verde next Monday.
Burkina Faso who missed out on 2019 AFCON, and qualified for the 2021 edition at Uganda Cranes expense, will seek to fight back in their next Group A matches.
Burkina Faso were 2013 finalists and 2017 bronze winners and will hope to exorcise past demons in this year’s tournament despite a poor start.
In the second match, Cape Verde needed a first-half stoppage time goal to beat Ethiopia 1-0. Julio Tavares scored the goal against Ethiopia who were reduced to 10 men following Yared Bayeh’s red card.