The Lions were given the fright of their lives by Mali as they narrowly avoided a defeat. Cameroon got up to a timid start at the ongoing 30th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. The Lions played a disappointing one all draw against the Eagles of Mali in the second group D encounter in Malabo yesterday. In an action-packed encounter, the Lions were given the fright of their lives as it was Mali who opened scores and Cameroonian got the equalizer barely six minutes to the end of the regular time of play.Though Cameroon was expected to lead the dance it was Mali who proved enterprising from the onset of the game creating several goal scoring opportunities within the first quarter of the game but each time saw their efforts thwarted by the young but very talented goalkeeper Ondoa Joseph. Even though Cameroon had the greater ball possession, it was Mali who proved dangerous as they shot four balls on target in the first half as opposed to only one for Cameroon.
Upon resumption for the second half, Cameroon took ascendancy in the game curtailing the offensive efforts of the Eagles of Mali.
However, it was Mali who got the curtain raiser against the physiognomy of the game from a spot kick thanks to a marking error of the Lions as Sambou Yatabare was left alone having enough time to chest the ball before hammering in a volley to fly past Ondoa. Cameroon stepped up the game but each time faltered when it came to the last pass and just when everyone thought the game was heading towards a victory for Mali, Cameroon got the equalizer from Oyongo Bitolo. The goal was the result of a collective effort following an offensive launched right from the back as Oyongo received assistance from Raoul Loe to net in the ball. Another goal from Mali at the 90th minute was disallowed for off side play.
The draws obtained against Mali puts all the teams in group D back to square one as Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire equally played a 1-1 draw. All teams therefore have one point and a zero goal difference. Cameroon play against Guinea in the next game while Cote d’Ivoire will face Mali without Gervinho who received a red card. The Cameroon-Mali encounter which was the 8th game marks the end of the first day of play. The competition enters the second day of play today with the host country, Equatorial Guinea to take on Burkina Faso in the first Group A game. Gabon will lock horns with Congo in the same venue in Bata.
Source : Cameroon Tribune