Cameroon beat a determined but eventually two goals to one in a thrilling match where all three goals in the game were of the most outstanding quality.
Guinea Bissau nudged in front from an absolutely stunning goal that if it doesn’t win goal of the competition then I will eat my hat. Piqueti who came on for a lively cameo roll in Guinea Bissau’s team played well enough in that match to start against the mighty Cameroon who were expected to walk away with this game. Instead they did the entire running in the second half as a steadfast and disciplined Guinea Bissau team only crumpled due to tired legs after they had given 100%. Piqueti won the ball on the edge of his own area ran up field where there were no fellow team mates so he continued his run in the Cameroon half of the pitch before racing in to the Cameroon area and faced with the last defender was too pacy for him and cut inside before unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot that was simply too hot for Ondoa in the Cameroon goal, he managed t get a hand to the ball but the fizzled into the top left hand corner for an absolutely incredible solo goal that will be seen time and time again in the next few weeks.
Piqueti started in midfield as Guinea Bissau employed a 4-5-1 formation and looked good in the opening stages although Christian Bassagog came close as his shot from the right was blocked. Piqueti wonder goal on 13 minutes set the match up perfectly for a tug of war between the giants of Cameroon albeit missing 8 players who had adamantly refused to play for the county of their birth and tiny Guinea Bissau who are embryonic in their first stages of a major football tournament.
Cameroon were cut down to size by the goal and slowly edged back into the game as Vincent Aboubakar had a header off target from an assist from Benjamin Moukandjo. Clinton N’Jie’s right footed shot was saved by the keeper with Moukandjo again on hand to thread the ball albeit with his head to N’Jie.
Adolphe Teikeu had an effort over the bar for Cameroon and the busy diligent Moukandjo was involved in almost every quality Cameroon move as he saw a right footed shot saved by Mendes in the Guinea Bissau goal.
Ekambi replaced N’Jie for the second half to give the team a little more oomph and he almost produced a dream start within six minutes of the restart when he latched onto a Siani pass but his right footed shot from outside the 18 yard box was blocked.
Guinea Bissau continued with just the odd foray forward as it was becoming all hands on deck at the back and one rare attack Frederic Mendy from distance had a shot saved by the little troubled Ondoa.
As Guinea Bissau were defending deeper and deeper the equalizer just had to come and it did as Moukando once again drove forward and his assist to Sebastien Siani allowed the front man to drive a crisp drive into the bottom left hand corner for 1 goal apiece.
Cameroon made a double substitution and bought on N’Koulou for Mandjeck and Tambe for Aboubakar to inject more pace looking for a winner. Soares had a headed saved for the underdogs before N’Koulou’s effort was high and wide for Cameroon. The giants were rewarded when Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui shot from 20 yards out after 78 minutes and the ball fizzled into the bottom right corner of the net for a 2-1 lead and it was to remain that way as the gulf between the two African teams really had shown in the second half. The minnows had a half chance on 86 minutes Abel Camara’s header from a Tomas Dabo cross was blocked and Camara had another chance but another block prevented any trouble for the Cameroons as they held on in a good game to triumph by 2 goals to one.
Three cracking goals including a contender already for goal of the season from Piqueti and two teams working hard and passionate this was the first game of the African Nations Cup whereby the tournament actually came alive.
Gabon Can’t Find Feet As Burkino Faso Hold Out For Draw
Host nation Gabon put in another disappointing performance as they were held to a one all draw in the opening game of the day in Group A against Burkino Faso.
Following their poor opening match draw with African Cup first timers Guinea Bissau they weren’t any better in their draw with the Burkino Faso team who put in a very spirited display that leaves them with a fantastic chance of qualification from the group possibly at the expense of the hosts.
Burkino Faso had playmaker and outstanding talent Pitroipa taken off injured after only 11 minutes of the game but shuffled themselves back into an accommodating formation that worked to their benefit.
Nakoulma opened the scoring for Burkino Faso on 23 minutes knocking the stuffing out of a sometimes nervous, somewhat disjointed Gabon. The hosts rallied well and won a corner in the 38th minute, which was tucked away by Aubamayeng for his second goal of the competition.
Burkina Faso’s best chance was created by Alain Traore, who cut into the box between two Gabon defenders and sent a shot towards the far corner only to see it well saved by Didier Ovono.