Indomitable Lions of Cameroon became the first team to book their place in the knockout stage of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 following their 4-1 thrashing of Ethiopia at Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.
Captain Vincent Aboubakar and strike partner Toko Ekambi each scored a brace after Dawa Dukele had given Ethiopia the lead.
Cameroon raised their tally to six points to secure their Round of 16 spot, while Ethiopia remained pointless after two games.
The Waliya Antelopes broke the deadlock inside four minutes through a Dawa Dukele who finished a sweeping counter.
The Ethiopians won possession inside their area breaking into the Indomitable Lions half with Abubeker Nasir playing in Amanuael Aregawi whose cut back found Dawa Dukele slot past Onana.
As in their opening match Cameroon came from behind to win it this time through Karl Ekambi who headed Collins Fai’s brilliant cross.
The Indomitable Lions continued to put more men forward as they look for the lead at the Olembe Stadium.
Martin Hongla and Maxi Choupo-Moting all came close for Cameroon both troubled Balcha in the Ethiopia goal.
Wubetu Abate Wubetu’s charges were bright on the counter attacks and caused mayhem to the Cameroonian defense. Amanuael Aregawi saw his fierce shot blocked by Ngadeu whiles Abubeker Nasir’s low drive agonizingly missed Onana’s far post.
Moumi Ngamaleu had the ball in the Ethiopian goal, but he was flagged offside on the half hour mark. Marauding right back Collins Fai placed an inviting cross into the area only for Seyoum to head over his goal for a corner.
The Indomitable Lions crashed the Waliya Antelopes post through Ekambi five minutes before the break whiles Onana produced a brilliant low two handed save to deny Surafel Dagnachew on the stroke of halftime.
The second half saw both sides going all out for the winner but it was Cameroon who found the back of the net on 53 minutes through captain Aboubakar.
The former FC Porto man headed down Collins Fai’s delightful cross past the helpless Balcha to make it 2-1.
Aboubakar doubled his tally just after the restart with a poachers finish from Moumi Ngamaleu’s neat square ball for his fourth of the tournament.
Ekambi curled a cracking effort towards the far corner forcing a save from Balcha before the hour mark before scoring the the winner on 67 minutes.
Midfielder Anguissa and right back Collins Fai both saw their goal bound efforts came off the Ethiopian post whiles Mekengo failed to convert for the Waliya Antelopes late on.
The Indomitable Lions have now recorded back-to-back wins ahead of their last Group A match against Cape Verde who will play Burkina Faso.
What they said
Karl Toko Ekambi (Man of the Match)
“We are happy after our victory tonight, synonymous with qualification for the next round of the competition. The fans have seen a great show and we hope to have more people in our next match against Cape Verde”.
Wubetu Abate (Ethiopia coach)
“We did everything to put in a good match and a good performance against Cameroon. We scored a goal early in the game but couldn’t keep the score in our favour. We are learning in the big competitions. “Experience has made the difference between us and the Cameroon team. Each match has its characteristics. The matches are different but we try to show our abilities and play good football.”
Antonio Conceiçao (Cameroon coach)
“We played a better second half with more rigor and concentration to seal the score and put up three more points. We played well offensively with several goalscoring chances in addition to the four goals scored. We didn’t come close with positioning errors, but this will be corrected in our next matches to play better. Our objective is to win our matches and go as far as possible in the tournament.”