Forwards Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi scored twice each after Ethiopia had taken a surprise lead through Dawa Hottesa in Yaounde.
Hosts Cameroon became the first team to qualify for the last 16 stage at the Africa Cup of Nations with an emphatic 4-1 win over Ethiopia on Thursday. Forwards Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi scored twice each after Ethiopia had taken a surprise lead through Dawa Hottesa in Yaounde. Cameroon will meet the Cape Verde in their last Group A match on Monday. Meanwhile Burkina Faso defeated Cape Verde 1-0 in the other match of the day in Olembe.
🇨🇲 #TeamCameroon through to the knockouts.
🇧🇫 #TeamBurkinaFaso earns their first 3 points.
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 14, 2022
Cameroon lead the group with six points while Burkina Faso and Cape Verde stand level on three points each. The hosts are certain to qualify for the next stage as one of the best four third-placed sides at the very least, but will win their group if they avoid defeat against Cape Verde.
In the tournament opener against Burkina Faso, captain Aboubakar scored two penalties as Cameroon came from behind to take all three points. Aboubakar continued his goal-scoring form to the next game as well as he netted with a header and a tap-in against Ethiopia, taking him to the top of tournament’s top scorer’s list with four goals. The 29-year-old now has five goals from 10 Nations Cup games.
Hottessa’s opening goal showed other teams that Cameroon’s defense can be exposed, as Collins Fai didn’t mark the Ethiopia striker very well, allowing him to get ahead and tap-in from Amanuel Gebremichael’s low cross.
However, Cameroon had an array of Europe-based stars who were too good for Ethiopia, whose players are all based in the country’s domestic league, to handle. Ekambi equalized for Cameroon in the 8th minute as he scored from Fai’s cross.
Fai was involved in the second goal also as he delivered an inch-perfect ball that Aboubakar headed home past the keeper in the 53rd minute. Just two minutes later, Aboubakar showed his power and pace to get on the end of a low cross from Moumi Ngameleu to make the score 3-1.
Toko-Ekambi completed his brace in the 67th minute, as he latched on to an inviting pass from impressive Napoli midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo-Anguissa before turning inside two defenders and drilling home.
Burkinabe were without Bertrand Traore after his positive COVID test. While the Aston Villa striker was absent, coach Kamou Malo came back after recovering from COVID-19.
Burkina Faso started the match brightly and Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha had to be on his toes. Edmond Tapsoboa’s low free-kick was saved by the 35-year-old in the 12th minute.
Shortly before half-time, Bande broke the deadlock as he chested home Isa Kabore’s fins cross to give Burkina Faso the lead and take all three points.