Vincent Aboubakar’s brace set the tone for hosts Cameroon, who came from behind to defeat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening game of the 2021 AFCON on Sunday.
Burkina Faso took an unexpected lead through Gustavo Sangare’s volleyed goal midway through the first half.
However, Aboubakar converted two first-half penalties to give Cameroon their second AFCON victory over Burkina Faso.
Sangare scored the tournament’s opening goal on 24 minutes, just seconds after Bertrand Traore’s header was cleared off the line.
The ball was worked back into the box, Andre Onana came close but came up short, and Sangare volleyed in at the back post with aplomb.
With five minutes remaining in the half, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was brought down in the box by Bertrand Traore. The referee initially dismissed the appeals, but after a VAR review, he pointed to the spot, which Aboubakar correctly identified.
In first-half stoppage time, there was no need for a review when Issoufou Dayo flew into a challenge and brought down Nouhou Tolo as he crossed it in.
Aboubakar converted another penalty, this time into the opposite corner, to give Cameroon a 2-1 lead at the break.
Cameroon believed they had added a third and Aboubakar completed his hat-trick when he bundled in a close-range rebound. However, it was eventually ruled out for offside following a three-minute VAR review.
The hosts’ next match is against Ethiopia on Wednesday, while Burkina Faso will look to rebound against Cape Verde on the same day.
Download NAIJA NEWS app: