Cameroon, host country of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) football, got off to a good start at home by beating Burkina Faso 2-1 this Sunday in the opening match of the continental tournament.
The victory of the ‘Indomitable Lions’ also came with a comeback.
The Burkinabe took the lead in Yaoundé on 24th through Gustavo Sangaré but then the Cameroonian captain, Vincent Aboubakar, turned the game around by converting two penalties (40, 45 + 3).
Aboubakar has great memories of the CAN, as he scored the winning goal over Egypt (2-1) in the final of this competition in 2017.
Cameroon thus takes over the controls of group A, waiting for the other match of the first day in that key to be played this Sunday, between Ethiopia and Cape Verde.
The host team of this CAN arrived at the first match of the tournament depleted by five casualties due to positive covid-19.
He could not make a great game but he fulfilled the mission, endorsing his status as a favorite to try to get a sixth title of African champion.
Before the game, an opening ceremony for this African Cup took place at the Yaoundé stadium, which for weeks seemed in serious doubt due to the covid-19 pandemic and especially due to the worldwide expansion of the omicron variant.
In this pre-match act there was great color, African music and a virtual lion, with the stands 80% full. This maximum capacity was set for this match by the African Football Confederation (CAF) and the health authorities.
One of the highlights of that opening ceremony was the rare appearance of Paul Biya (88 years old). The man who has held the presidency of Cameroon since 1982 got out of an open-top limousine on the stadium’s athletic track and took a lap of honor around the stadium, cheered by the public.
Paul Biya then made a short official opening statement for the tournament. Since his controversial re-election in 2018, the political leader’s public appearances are very limited and his presence this Sunday at the stadium was highly anticipated, amidst the great rumors that had been happening about his fragile state of health.