Captain Vincent Aboubakar converted two spot-kicks as hosts Cameroon came from behind to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Yaounde on Sunday.
Burkina Faso, who were without their coach Kamou Malo and six players who tested positive for Covid-19, gave away two clumsy penalties after Gustavo Sangare had silenced the home crowd, estimated at around 45,000 fans at the newly-built Olembe Stadium, with the first goal of the game.
Sangare finished with his left foot at the back post in the 24th minute to hand the Burkinabe a surprise lead in the Group A encounter but then their captain Bertrand Traore and defender Issoufou Dayo gave away penalties in quick succession.
Aboubakar, who was part of Cameroon’s winning team at the 2017 Cup of Nations in neighbouring Gabon, tucked away both kicks with aplomb.
Aboubakar thought they had a third after he bundled in a rebound from close range. But after a three-minute VAR review, it was eventually chalked off for offside.
The hosts next game comes up on Wednesday against Ethiopia while Burkina Faso will hope to bounce back when they face Cape Verde on the same day.
Later this evening Cape Verde face Ethiopia.