Burkina Faso came from behind to hold Cameroon to a 1-1 draw in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) game at the Stade de I’Amitie in the Gabonese city of Libreville on Saturday night.
The Stallions of Burkina Faso and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions were eyeing Group A top spot after tournament hosts Gabon were held to a 1-1 draw by Guinea Bissau in the opening game.
Both sides were looking to get men forward and force the initiative in the opening stages of the second Group A encounter.
Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa was called into action in the 13th minute when he produced a fine save pushing away Alain Traore’s free-kick.
A quiet period in which the two sides were struggling to maintain possession in the final third and create good goal scoring opportunities followed.
But in the 35th minute, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were awarded a free-kick in a promising area and Benjamin Moukandjo stepped up to take it.
The France-based forward curved a stunning 20-yard free-kick into the back of the net – beating Burkina Faso keeper Kouakou Koffi to make it 1-0 to Cameroon.
The Stallions of Burkina Faso then pushed for an equalising goal, but Prejuce Nakoulma’s shot from an acute angle was well saved by Ondoa.
The Indomitable Lions were leading 1-0 during the interval thanks to Moukandjo’s excellent goal from a set-piece on the edge of the Stallions box.
With his side trailing, Bertrand Traore rampaged forward six minutes after the restart, but he unleashed a tame shot which was easily saved by Ondoa.
Paulo Duarte, the Burkina Faso head coach, decided to make a change on the hour-mark introducing Banou Diawara as the Stallions looked to level matters.
With Cameroon looking solid at the back, Alain Traore tried his luck from range in the 63rd minute, but his effort flew over the crossbar without troubling Ondoa.
However, the shot-stopper made a mistake in the 75th minute spilling Diawara’s free-kick and Issoufou Dayo headed home to make it 1-1.
The Stallions had a late chance to snatch a winning goal from a free-kick, but Alain Traore’s effort from the set-piece was blocked by the Cameroonian wall.
Nevertheless, the two sides settled for a 1-1 draw on the night as they shared the spoils.
Burkina Faso (0) 1 (Dayo 75′)
Cameroon (1) 1 (Moukandjo 35′)
Burkina Faso: Koffi; Malo, B. Koné, Dayo, Y. Coulibaly, Kaboré, A.Traoré; Pitroipa (Bance 86′), Nakoulma, A.Traoré (Zongo 75′), B.Traoré (Diawara 60′).
Cameroon:Ondoa; Oyongo, Teikeu, Mabouka, Ngadeu; Siani, Mandjeck, Bassogog (Toko 84′); N’Jie (Salli 77′), Zoua, Moukandjo.
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