By Mark Gleeson
LIBREVILLE – Burkina Faso scored a late equaliser through centre back Issoufou Dayo to earn a fortuitous 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Group A at the African Nations Cup on Saturday. Dayo touched home a header from close range in a goalmouth scramble from a free kick in the 75th minute to ensure a share of the spoils after Cameroon had led at halftime.
Captain Benjamin Moukandjo converted a free-kick in the 35th minute and Cameroon squandered two more gilt-edged chances after that as they failed to press home their advantage. Moukandjo’s free-kick came after Burkina Faso captain Charles Kabore had committed a needless challenge on the edge of his box. The Lorient striker stepped up and with virtually no run up, steered a superb effort high into the net.
Cameroon had a second chance with a breakaway on the stroke of halftime after Christian Bassogog beat the offside trap and found himself running clear on goal, but Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi made a superb tackle to deny Cameroon a two-goal advantage.
After the break, Jacques Zoua’s thunderous strike was parried by Koffi straight into the path of Clinton Njie, who scuffed the rebound wide of the target.
That opened the door for a Burkinabe revival which saw Banou Diawara’s free-kick set up the equaliser.
Cameroon failed to clear a hard-hit kick that bounced around dangerously before Bakary Kone steered it goalward and Dayo came through to apply the finishing touch and claim a first international goal.
The match followed the opening game of the tournament between the hosts Gabon and newcomers Guinea Bissau, which also ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
The four Group A sides will play next again in Libreville on Wednesday.(Reuters)