YAOUNDE: Captain Vincent Aboubakar converted two spot kicks as hosts Cameroon came from behind to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Yaounde yesterday.
Burkina Faso, who were without their coach Kamou Malo and six players who tested positive for Covid-19, gave away two clumsy penalties after Gustavo Sangare had silenced the home crowd, estimated at around 45,000 fans at the Olembe Stadium, with the first goal of the game.
Sangare finished with his left foot at the back post in the 24th minute to hand the Burkinabe a surprise lead in the Group A encounter but then their captain Bertrand Traore and defender Issoufou Dayo gave away penalties in quick succession.
Aboubakar, who was part of Cameroon’s winning team at the 2017 Cup of Nations in neighbouring Gabon, tucked away both kicks with aplomb.
Burkina Faso’s goal came after a rare error from Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana, who recently returned from a nine-month drug ban, as he came out and missed Traore’s cross, allowing Sangare to finish expertly at the back post.
In the second match, striker Julio Tavares headed home the winner as Cape Verde Islands shrugged off their Covid-19 woes to beat 10-man Ethiopia 1-0.
Senegal v Zimbabwe (4pm) Guinea v Malawi (7pm)
Morocco v Ghana (7pm)
Comoros v Gabon (10pm)