AFCON: Cameroon sail through, Ethiopia’s hope hangs in the balance
Hosts Cameroon have sealed their place to the next stage of the African cup following a four-one comeback win over Ethiopia.
The first game of matchday produced goals galore and one-too-many scoring chances by the Indomitable Lions.
The Walias have now gone winless in six straight games. They will need to win their final group match while hoping to be picked among best third.
Coach Abate Wubetu’s men started well with Dawa Hutessa stinging the Indomitable Lions four minutes into the first half.
The hosts, now fond of early concessions, woke up from slumber. Olympic Lyonnais winger Karl Toko cancelled out Walias’ lead with a powerful header within four minutes of Ethiopia’s goal.
Moumi Ngamaleu’s goal would be ruled out for offside at the 32nd minute. The next were mischances.
Toko’s header denied by the cross bar at the 39th minute. Both sides finally regained dressing rooms on parity.
As soon as Congolese referee Jean-Jacques Ndala sounded his whistle for resumption, captain Vincent Aboubakar scored two goals in quick succession, charging the moods of fans thrice less than the thousands who showed up during last Sunday’s inaugural match.
Ethiopia looked lost as António Conceição da Silva Oliveira’s Lions kept breaking into their box.
At the 67th minute, Karl Toko dribbled past Ethiopian defenders to complete his brace, sealing the deal for the home side.
Both coaches made two changes to the teams fielded on matchday one. Antonio brought in Martin Hongla and Bayern Munich froward Choupo-Moting to replace Jerome Onguene and Kunde Malong.
Coach Wubetu dropped captain Getaneh Kebede for Dawa Hutessa, and Mignot Debebe naturally took the place of Yared Bayeh who was sent off against Cape Verde.
Ethiopia won the 1962 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil. They went more than three decades without qualifying until Afcon 2013, where they failed to get out of the group stage.
Ethiopia has now lost to Cameroon during the only three times both sides have met.