Cameroon 2-1 Burkina Faso: Vincent Aboubakar scores two penalties as hosts win AFCON opener

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  • Vincent Aboubakar
    Vincent Aboubakar
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 (AP)
(AP)

Hosts Cameroon got the Africa Cup of Nations up and running with a tense 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso.

In the first match of a tournament that has been much-delayed, it was Burkina Faso who took a shock lead through Gustavo Sangare as he volleyed home.

But Vincent Aboubakar took full advantage of some rash defending to convert two penalties in the first-half and put Cameroon back in front.

The hosts had plenty of chances to extend their lead after the break, but it did not matter in the end as they got off to a winning start.

Steeve Yago was booked inside a minute of the tournament getting underway, with the Burkina Faso defender lucky it wasn’t a different colour card after a dreadful early challenge.

Sangare netted the first goal of the tournament, moments after Bertrand Traore’s header was cleared off the line. The ball was worked back into the box, Andre Onana came for it but got nowhere near, and Sangare volleyed in really well at the back post.

With five minutes left in the half, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa went down in the box under a challenge from Traore. The referee initially waved away the appeals, but after a VAR review he pointed to the spot and Aboubakar made no mistake.

There was no need for a review in first-half stoppage time, when Issoufou Dayo flew into a challenge and brought down Nouhou Tolo as he crossed it in.

Aboubakar again stepped up and this time sent his penalty into the opposite corner to give Cameroon a 2-1 lead heading into the break.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Burkina Faso pushed for an equaliser in the second-half, with all their attacking promise coming through Traore who had a couple of speculative efforts from range saved.

Cameroon thought they had a third and Aboubakar his hat-trick, after he bundled in a rebound from close range. But after a three-minute VAR review, it was eventually ruled out for offside.

Clinton Njie came on for the hosts and looked bright, while Anguissa had a great effort deflected just wide and Aboubakar had more chances to seal the match ball but Cameroon could not find their clinical touch.

Burkina Faso did not make them pay though, as the hosts saw the rest of the match out for victory in what, on paper, is their toughest match of the group stage.

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