Champions Cameroon began the defence of their Africa Cup of Nations title with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau at the Ismailia Stadium on Tuesday.
Yaya Banana and Bahoken made the difference, bringing smiles on the faces of Clarence Seedorf and Patrick Kluivert, who move to the summit of Group F temporarily.
Ghana play Benin in other group game.
Guinea Bissau were looking lively in the opening exchanges, going straight at the defending champions without fear. Pele had a great opportunity to punish the Indomitable Lions from range in the 12th minute. The Nottingham Forest midfielder watched on as his effort flew agonizingly over Andre Onana’s goal post.
Cameroon slowly came into the match and created a glorious chance after the half-hour mark. A brilliant piece of play left Bassogog with net gaping but the 2017 AFCON player of the year skewed his shot wildly over, much to the surprise of his teammates and fans. Cameroon kept going and had another opportunity in the 35th minute. Bassogog sent in a good cross and it met the head of Tchakonte but Jonas Mendes pulled off a terrific save to keep the score level.
Djurtus had another chance at the end to get the advantage two minutes later after Onana surprisingly misjudged a cross leaving Toni Silva with some bodies ahead of him. Silva, however, shot straight at an opponent and the danger was averted. The two teams headed to the break in search of the first goal.
Cameroon came out with more purpose at the beginning of the restart and their captain, Choupo Moting got an opportunity in the 49th minute but his well-placed shot was equally met by the outstretched hands of Jonas Mendes. Clarence Seedorf’s men still pushed on and Anguissa had the chance to shoot four minutes later. The Fulham midfielder’s effort, however, did little to trouble the goalkeeper.
Djurtus came alive once again afterwards and Mane hit one from long range in the 63rd minute but watched on in pain as his shot missed by millimetres. The Indomitable Lions finally got the lead in the 66th minute. Karl Ekambi whipped in a corner and Yaya Banana rose highest to meet it and got it past the defender guarding the post.
Cameroon grew in confidence afterwards and were rewarded with another three minutes later. Bahoken was gifted with a big chance after his team mate’s cross was deflected and he made no mistake, hitting it past Jonas Mendes.
Guinea Bissau came close to pulling one back after Piqueti met a dangerous cross in the box with 17 minutes to go. He, however, was heartbroken to see the ball come back off the post and cleared away by a defender as Cameroon secured three points.
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