Cameroon now sit atop the Group A table after Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over long shots Guinea-Bissau. The win was the nation’s first Cup of Nations victory since defeating Zambia in 2010.
It didn’t look pretty early on for the Indomitable Lions as they fell behind 1-0 in the 13th minute. Guinea-Bissau’s Piqueti provided the underdogs with a glimmer of hope after a brilliant solo goal. After picking up the ball in his own half he glided all the way down into Cameroon’s 18-yard box and beat three defenders before slotting the ball into the left side of the goal.
Guinea-Bissau looked to be on their way towards history before Cameroon midfielder Sebastien Siani provided his side with a 61st minute equalizer, and what an equalizer it was. The ball was played across the top of the 18-yard box where Siani was in perfect position to run onto the ball and aggressively slam it first time with the outside of his right boot curling it past the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand.
Cameroon snatched what would be the decisive goal just 17 minutes later. It was the defender Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui playing hero when he took a play out of Siani’s book striking the ball hard and low first time at the top of the 18-yard box. It was extremely well hit sliding in between the goalkeeper’s hand and the right post.
Earlier in the day Gabon drew 1-1 with Burkina-Faso.
The hosts found themselves in a panic just 23 minutes in when Prejuce Nakoulma, who had just been subbed on for an injured Jonathan Pitroipa, raced onto a cleared ball, kept his cool and calmly slotted it to the left of the goalkeeper.
The always dangerous Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang responded for his side 15 minutes later when he was wiped out by Burkina Faso goalkeeper Kouakou Koffi in the box. Aubameyang himself stepped up to take the penalty kick and confidently slotted it into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Gabon had a chance to win it late on when Aubameyang headed the ball down to an onrushing Denis Bouanga who had a clear chance to secure all three points but failed to put the ball to either side of the goalkeeper.
Gabonese players will now be hoping to avoid an embarrassing group stage exit in their own country.
To ensure more football for Gabon, they must now defeat a tough Cameroon side on Sunday. Securing only a draw may not be enough for the Gabonese as Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau both have a realistic chance to progress in the competition as well. They will also go head to head on Sunday with both sides knowing they need a win or it’s likely curtains.