Afcon 2021: Cameroon beat Burkina Faso 2-1 before Cape Verde face Ethiopia
Cameroon came out on top to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in a first match full of incidents in the Africa Cup of Nations.
An acrobatic volley from Gustavo Sangare put the Burkinese ahead in the middle of the first half in Yaoundé.
But two infallible penalties from captain Vincent Aboubakar turned the game around for the locals before the break.
The indomitable Lions goalkeeper Andre Onana made two crucial stops in the second half when Toni Conceicao’s side opened their Group A campaign with victory.
A Cape Verdean team affected by Covid-19 cases defeated 10-man Ethiopia 1-0 in the second game of the day at Olembe Stadium, with striker Julio Tavares scoring a powerful header in stoppage time. first part discount.
There are four matches on Monday, with Senegal, 2019 runners-up in action and four-time Ghana champions, facing Morocco at 16:00 GMT.
Raise entertainment curtains in Cameroon
The Nations Cup has been delayed by a year by the coronavirus pandemic, but after a colorful opening ceremony, the first match served as an absorbing contest.
Burkina Faso defender Steeve Yago was lucky to see only the yellow card for a slip-up in the first minute over Collins Fai, who was the first of several hasty challenges that ultimately cost the Stallions.
Burkina Faso came forward after their first period of sustained pressure after Bertrand Traorés saw Nouhou Tolo clear his header from a corner and Sangare cut the crossbar with a cross.
Aston Villa striker Traore grabbed the ball on the right and centered it on the back post for Sangare, who showed a brilliant technique for sending a volley for the first time into the right hand side.
Cameroon were not discouraged and had a chance to tie the game five minutes before the break, when Traore awkwardly defeated Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
The penalty was awarded after a review of the video by the assistant referee, and Aboubakar sent goalkeeper Herve Koffi from the wrong spot and hit the ball on the right side of the net.
The locals received a second penalty in stoppage time in the first half when Issoufou Dayo placed Tolo after the Cameroonian defender had played the ball.
Aboubakar, which marked the winner when Cameroon last lifted the Nations Cup in 2017, He has not made a mistake for the second time, as he has gone the other way with his penalty.
After the restart, Onana avoided an ambitious long-range free-kick from Traore and then denied Cyrille Bayala from close range.
Aboubakar was denied a hat-trick for a tight VAR offside, while Zambo Anguissa fired a shot while the Indomitable Lions tried to put the game to bed.
The hosts, who are looking to lift the continental trophy for the sixth time, return to play on Thursday against Ethiopia.
Ethiopia pays the price for early dismissal
Coach Bubista and nine Cape Verde players were absent due to Covid and the Blue Sharks could only name six substitutes for their match against Ethiopia.
The East Africans were down 10 men at first after Yared Bayeh was unable to control a captivating backhand and brought down Julio Tavares just outside the area in the eighth minute.
Initially shown in yellow by the English referee Helder Martins de Carvalho, the center had his card increased to red after a long check of the VAR.
Substitute Mignot Debebe almost scored on his own goal, but Ethiopian goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko cleared it on the line, and then Shanko saved well from midfielder Dylan Tavares.
The islanders hit the front when a deep cross from the left flank was volleyed through the goal by the ever-brilliant Garry Rodrigues and striker Tavares was ready to convert from close range.
Ethiopia had little impact in the face of a small crowd, as most had left after Cameroon’s previous victory.
Coronavirus affects preparations
The mid-season schedule of the tournament has received criticism from European clubs, while the appearance of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 is having an impact on fans and players.
Assistance they are limited to 80% of the capacity for Cameroon parties and 60% for the rest of the games, while fans must be twice vaccinated and have a negative test.
These restrictions did not seem to affect a lively crowd watching the hosts, but the Burkinabe did not have coach Kamou Malo and six players due to the positive tests, and a large number of players will be missing in Monday’s matches.
Senegal, defeated by Algeria in the 2019 final, is ready they only have 17 players available for his first Group B match against Zimbabwe due to Covid-19 cases and injuries to his squad.
Guinea and rival Malawi have also been hit by outbreaks, while Morocco’s Aymen Barkok and Auyoub El Kaabi are out of their first Group C match.
Elsewhere, Gabonese captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang will not face Comoros debutants after testing positive for arrival in Cameroon on Thursday.