Afcon 2021: Hosts Cameroon reach knockout stage with 4-1 defeat of Ethiopia


Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar
Vincent Aboubakar leads the Nations Cup scoring charts with four goals from his first two games

Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon reached the knock-out stage when beating Ethiopia 4-1 in Group A.

Forwards Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko-Ekambi shared the goals after the Ethiopians awoke the Indomitable Lions by taking an early lead in Yaounde.

Dawa Hotessa slid home after four minutes but the hosts were level after eight as Toko Ekambi headed home.

In the second half, Aboubakar grabbed his brace before Lyon man Toko Ekambi joined him after 67 minutes.

Cameroon qualify for the next stage as one of the best four third-placed sides at the very least, but will advance outright if Cape Verde avoid defeat in their evening clash with Burkina Faso on Thursday.

After his opening day double against the Burkinabe, with both goals coming from the penalty spot, Cameroon captain Aboubakar is the tournament top scorer after his header and tap-in took him to four goals.

He now has a record of five goals from ten Nations Cup games, a marked improvement from his first eight games producing just one goal – the winner itself in the 2017 final.

Coach Toni Conceicao’s side, which won its sixth game in a row and is seeking a sixth title, now has six points and both feet in the Round of 16.

They next meet Cape Verde, who play Burkina Faso later on Thursday, in their final group game on Monday.

Lions show bite

Cameroon had to work hard to secure their 2-1 win against Burkina Faso, riding their luck at times prior to the Stallions running out of energy and ideas.

As they did on Sunday, the Lions had to come from behind to win but this time they were convincing victors as their array of Europe-based stars overpowered a side whose players are all based in Ethiopia’s domestic league.

Hotessa’s early goal served a warning for Cameroon and showed other teams that the Lions’ defence can be exposed, as it was when Collins Fai switched off and allowed the Ethiopia to get ahead of him and tap home Amanuel Gebremichael’s low cross.

But the comeback was impressive as all three of Cameroon’s forwards were involved in their instant equaliser.

Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Aboubakar combined before the latter’s fiercely-struck but well-saved shot spilled to Fai, who atoned for his error when finding Toko-Ekambi with a perfect cross.

Cameroon's Karl Toko Ekambi
Toko Ekambi celebrates one of his two goals against Ethiopia

As in the first period, Cameroon needed just eight minutes to score in the second half as Fai was at it again – floating in another inch-perfect delivery that Aboubacar gobbled up in familiar fashion, heading down and firmly past the keeper.

Just two minutes later, it was 3-1 as Aboubacar showed his power on the floor this time, charging forward to bustle home a low cross along the six-yard box from wideman Moumi Ngameleu.

Toko-Ekambi grabbed his second as he latched on to an inviting pass from impressive Napoli midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo-Anguissa before turning inside two defenders and drilling home.

While Cameroon impressed with their energy and free-flowing play, the scoreline was a little harsh on Ethiopia, who could easily have ended the game with more than one goal.

Both Abubeker Nasir and Hotessa wasted decent opportunities in the first half with the latter also guilty of spurning a fine chance in the second half.

The best opportunity fell to Bezabih Melayu three minutes from time but he failed to hit the target with the goal gaping after the ball fell kindly to him in the box.

There was still time for right-back Fai, who has never scored for Cameroon, to hit the post, just as Zambo-Anguissa did earlier in a game that entertained from the start in Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium.



Formation 4-4-2

  • 24OnanaBooked at 88mins
  • 19Fai
  • 21Castelletto
  • 5Ngadeu
  • 25ToloSubstituted forOyongoat 79′minutes
  • 3Moumi NgamaleuSubstituted forN’Jieat 69′minutes
  • 18HonglaBooked at 7mins
  • 8Zambo Anguissa
  • 12Toko EkambiSubstituted forGanagoat 70′minutes
  • 13Choupo-MotingSubstituted forLéa Silikiat 56′minutes
  • 10AboubakarSubstituted forBahokenat 79′minutes


  • 6Oyongo
  • 7N’Jie
  • 9Bahoken
  • 11Bassogog
  • 14Oum Gouet
  • 15Kunde
  • 16Epassy
  • 17Mbaïzo
  • 20Ganago
  • 22Onguéné
  • 23Omossola
  • 27Léa Siliki


Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Shanko
  • 2Hamid
  • 15Tamene
  • 4Debebe
  • 20YusefSubstituted forReshidat 73′minutes
  • 7DagnachewBooked at 15minsSubstituted forSolomonat 45′minutes
  • 8Yohannes
  • 3MohammedSubstituted forMelayuat 72′minutes
  • 11GebremichaelSubstituted forKebedeat 84′minutes
  • 10Nasir
  • 27HotessaSubstituted forGugesaat 73′minutes


  • 1Tassew
  • 5Yohannes
  • 6Panom
  • 9Kebede
  • 12Endashaw
  • 13Solomon
  • 17Melayu
  • 19Gugesa
  • 21Tonjo
  • 24Tafesse
  • 25Reshid
  • 26Kassim

Jean Jacques Ndala Ngambo

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