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Africa Cup of Nations: Holders Cameroon too strong for Guinea-Bissau

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Cameroon – captained by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – made a winning start to their title defence on Tuesday

Cameroon began the defence of their Africa Cup of Nations crown with victory over Guinea-Bissau in Group F.

Yaya Banana opened the scoring for the Indomitable Lions, heading low into the net from Karl Toko Ekambi’s cross.

Stephane Bahoken capitalised on a defensive mix-up three minutes later to seal the points for Clarence Seedorf’s side.

Ghana drew 2-2 with Benin in Tuesday’s other Group F game.

Cameroon’s tournament preparations were disrupted by a row over bonuses, with the Indomitable Lions squad staging a sit-in protest before departing for Egypt.

The five-time winners started slowly in Ismailia but grew into the game as the first half progressed, spurning several good opportunities to break the deadlock before the interval.

Christian Bassogog twice failed to hit the target from good positions, while Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa sidefooted wide from Bassogog’s pass.

Full-back Joyskim Dawa Tchakonte and captain Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting both forced fine saves out of Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Jonas Mendes, before quick-fire goals from Banana and Bahoken secured the win.

Piqueti went closest for Guinea-Bissau, heading against the post from Nadjack’s delivery.

Cameroon are next in action against fellow tournament favourites Ghana on Saturday (18:00 BST), while Guinea-Bissau take on Benin later that day (21:00 BST).

Analysis

By BBC Sport Africa’s Piers Edwards

This was a solid start from the defending champions, who took a while to get into their stride – helped by Guinea-Bissau running out of steam a little in the second half.

That was perhaps unsurprising after Guinea-Bissau – taking on the five-time champions in only their second finals appearance – impressed when holding their own in the first half, albeit helped by some wayward finishing from the champions.

That was a theme of the game as the Indomitable Lions missed chance after chance – but two goals in three minutes changed their fortunes (the second fortuitously falling their way) – as they slowly went up the gears.

Surprise champions in 2017 after several big-name players missed the tournament, Cameroon have been bolstered by the return of Ajax’s Andre Onana and Paris St-Germain’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – but opponents will have noticed some defensive lapses which Guinea-Bissau failed to exploit.

Live Text

Match ends, Cameroon 2, Guinea-Bissau 0.

Second Half ends, Cameroon 2, Guinea-Bissau 0.

Hand ball by Joyskim Dawa (Cameroon).

Foul by Christian Bassogog (Cameroon).

Jorginho (Guinea-Bissau) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Juary Soares (Guinea-Bissau) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Zézinho with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Guinea-Bissau. Conceded by Yaya Banana.

Offside, Cameroon. Joyskim Dawa tries a through ball, but Clinton N’Jie is caught offside.

Olivier Boumal (Cameroon) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Olivier Boumal (Cameroon).

Nadjack (Guinea-Bissau) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Juary Soares (Guinea-Bissau).

Olivier Boumal (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Zézinho (Guinea-Bissau).

Foul by Georges Mandjeck (Cameroon).

Zézinho (Guinea-Bissau) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, Guinea-Bissau. Joseph Mendes replaces Frederic Mendy.

Foul by Yaya Banana (Cameroon).

Jorginho (Guinea-Bissau) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Olivier Boumal (Cameroon) left footed shot from long range on the left is too high. Assisted by Ambroise Oyongo.

Substitution, Cameroon. Olivier Boumal replaces Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (Cameroon) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Clinton N’Jie (Cameroon).

Nadjack (Guinea-Bissau) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Frederic Mendy (Guinea-Bissau) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mama Baldé with a cross.

Hand ball by Frederic Mendy (Guinea-Bissau).

Substitution, Guinea-Bissau. Jorginho replaces Piqueti.

Foul by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon).

Manconi (Guinea-Bissau) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

André Onana (Cameroon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Frederic Mendy (Guinea-Bissau).

Attempt saved. Frederic Mendy (Guinea-Bissau) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom left corner.

Piqueti (Guinea-Bissau) hits the left post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Nadjack with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon).

Substitution, Guinea-Bissau. Mama Baldé replaces Toni Silva.

Offside, Cameroon. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting tries a through ball, but Stéphane Bahoken is caught offside.

Goal! Cameroon 2, Guinea-Bissau 0. Stéphane Bahoken (Cameroon) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Foul by Georges Mandjeck (Cameroon).

Africa Cup of Nations: Holders Cameroon too strong for Guinea-Bissau

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