Organizers may have been forced to push the competition back a year, but the Africa Cup of Nations is finally happening in Cameroon, with 24 nations battling for the crown of best team in Africa, a title currently held by a dominant Algeria team.
Hosts Cameroon got the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations underway with a victory over Burkina Faso on Sunday evening.
Captain Vincent Aboubakar scored twice from the spot to give the Indomitable Lions a 2-1 victory at the new Olembe stadium in Yaounde.
Gustavo Sangare gave the Burkinabes the lead with a ferocious volley after 24 minutes following a defensive error in the Cameroon box.
Cameroon won a penalty 12 minutes later after Burkinabe captain Bertrand Traore’s clumsy challenge on André Anguissa.
Aboubakar stepped up and slotted past the Stallions goalkeeper Koffi.
At the stroke of halftime, Aboubakar dispatched a second penalty after a foul on Fai Collins by Issoufou Dayo.
In the day’s other fixture, ten-man Ethiopia lost 1-0 to Cape Verde. A Julio Tavares close-range header secured the Blue Sharks’ victory against the Walias who had been reduced to 10 men following Yared Bayeh’s early dismissal.
Action in Group A returns on Thursday with Cameroon taking on Ethiopia and Burkina Faso entertaining Cape Verde.