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AFCON 2023: Cameroon fail to utilize numerical advantage, settle for draw with Guinea

Cameroon and Guinea shared the spoils from their opening match from Group C at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following a 1-1 draw on Monday in Yamoussoukro. Mohamed Bayo put Guinea into the lead inside the opening ten minutes but a red card to Guinea forward François Kamano allowed Cameroon to level early in the second half through Frank Magri. A high profile match against reigning champions Senegal awaits Cameroon on Friday and Guinea will look for a victory against The Gambia.

The first half featured contrasting approaches from the combatants. Cameroon attempted to control the match by focusing on possession but it was largely ineffective against the direct counter-attacking approach from the Guineans who looked more threatening.

It was little surprise when Guinea took the lead in the 10th minute. The high Cameroonian defensive line was exposed by a pass from the right wing that found the run of striker Mohamed Bayo. An initial shot from Bayo was well saved by Indomitable Lions goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa but the defense reacted sluggishly and failed to clear the ball. Midfielder Olivier Keman was caught dwelling on the ball at the edge of his own area and his errant pass fell to Bayo who shot between the legs of Ondoa to give the Syli National an early advantage.

More of the same ensued but the course of the match changed when a reckless challenge from Guinea attacker François Kamano drew the attention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), resulting in a red card dismissal for the winger. The Lions pounced early in the second half when Georges-Kévin N’Koudou whipped in a perfect cross to find Magri at the far post for a bouncing header past Guinea keeper Ibrahima Koné.

Cameroonian supporters expected their team to push on to victory but the attack continued to be too predictable and Guinea were able to settle down. The Guinean defense remained strong and the best opportunity Cameroon could muster for the remainder of the match was when an 88th minute cross was deflected to striker Karl Toko Ekambi whose firm shot was well handled by Koné.

Highlights of the match are below.

Match Highlights

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