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Africa Cup of Nations: Afcon hosts Cameroon storm through to next round

Vincent Aboubakar leads the Nations Cup scoring charts with four goals from his first two games

Vincent Aboubakar leads the Nations Cup scoring charts with four goals from his first two games

Cameroon have defended their place in the next round of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with a 4-1 win over Ethiopia in group A.

The Indomitable Lions last won Afcon in 2017, and are anticipating for their first title on home soil.

Hosts Cameroon became the first team to be eligibility for the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations with an energetic 4-1 win over Ethiopia in Group A.

Forwards Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko-Ekambi scored twice each following Ethiopia who took an early lead in Yaounde.

Hotessa Dawa slid home after four minutes notwithstanding the hosts were level after eight as Toko-Ekambi headed home.

The second of Cameroon’s goals against Ethiopia was this header from Vincent Aboubakar

In the second half, Aboubakar banged twice, and Lyon’s Toko-Ekambi subsequently added his second following 67 minutes.

Cameroon are sure to qualify for the next stage as one of the best four third-placed sides at the very least, even so will win their group if they escape defeat against Cape Verde on Monday.

Following scoring two penalties as the Burkinabe were beaten 2-1 on the opening day, Cameroon captain Aboubakar is the tournament’s top scorer – with his header and tap-in taking him to four goals.

He now has a record of five goals from 10 Nations Cup games, a marked development from his first eight games, which occasioned only one goal – the winner itself in the 2017 final.

The Indomitable Lions, who are pursuing a sixth Nations Cup title for Cameroon, have now won six games in a row – and have both feet in the last 16, with six points to their name.

Lions show bite
Cameroon had to work hard to secure their 2-1 win against Burkina Faso, riding their luck at times before the Stallions ran out of energy and ideas.

As they did on Sunday, coach Toni Conceicao’s side had to come from behind to win but this time they were convincing victors as their array of Europe-based stars overpowered a side whose players are all based in Ethiopia’s domestic league.

Hotessa’s early goal, though, showed other teams that Cameroon’s defense can be exposed, as Collins Fai switched off and allowed the Ethiopia striker to get ahead of him and tap home Amanuel Gebremichael’s low cross.

But the comeback was impressive as all three of Cameroon’s forwards were involved in their instant equalizer.

Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Aboubakar combined – before the latter’s fiercely struck but well-saved shot spilled to Fai, who atoned for his error when finding Toko-Ekambi with a perfect cross to make it 1-1.

Karl Toko-Ekambi celebrates one of his two goals against Ethiopia

As in the first season, Cameroon require only eight minutes to score once the second got under way, and Fai was at it once more – soaring in one more accurate delivery that Aboubakar gobbled in intimate fashion, heading down and strongly past the keeper.

Only two minutes later, it was 3-1 as Aboubakar demonstrated his power on the floor this time, bidding forward to rush home a low cross along the six-yard box from Moumi Ngameleu.

Toko-Ekambi captured his second as he adhered on to an appealing pass from amazing Napoli midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo-Anguissa before turning inside two defenders and drilling home.

Conversely Cameroon made an impression with their energy and streaming play, the scoreline was a little harsh on Ethiopia, who could effortlessly have ended the game with over one goal.

Both Abubeker Nasir and Hotessa depleted reasonable chances in the first half with the latter as well culpable of turn away a fine chance in the second half.

Their best second-half chance fell to Bezabih Melayu three minutes from time still he failed to hit the target with the goal yawning after the ball fell kindly to him in the box.

There was still time for right-back Fai, who has never scored for Cameroon, to hit the post, exactly as Zambo-Anguissa did earlier in a game that captivated from the start in Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium.

 

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