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  • Updated: January 13, 2022

AFCON 2022: Cameroon's Aboubakar Tops Scorer's Chat On Matchday 1

Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar's brace from spot-kick on matchday 1 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2022 takes him to the top of the scoring chart being the only player to have scored two goals.

At the last edition of the Cup, held in Egypt three years ago, 27 goals were scored in the 12 matches that make up Matchday 1.

Unlike in Egypt,  goals have been scarce in Cameroon with just 12 in 12 matches causing former Nigeria playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha to say "we need to see the ball in the net much more often".

Matchday 2 in the group phase starts on Thursday to Sunday, Here is a brief survey of each group;

GROUP A -- Cameroon, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia

Host Cameroon and runner-up Cape Verde would clinch a place in the last 16 in Yaounde on Thursday if they defeat Ethiopia and Burkina Faso for Match day 2

Maximum points would give the Indomitable Lions and Blue Sharks six points each, leaving the other two teams to fight for third place and possible qualification when they meet in the final round.

Cameroon should succeed against nimble but limited Ethiopia, but Burkina Faso could overcome Cape Verde if they become more disciplined in their tackles that gave two penalties to Aboubakar.

GROUP B -- Senegal, Guinea, Zimbabwe and Malawi

Sadio Mane of Senegal will face Naby Keita of Guinea in a top-of-the-table affair in Bafoussam on Friday with the winners virtually guaranteed a last-16 slot.

Neither Senegal nor Guinea impressed in solitary-goal wins over Zimbabwe and Malawi respectively with the Teranga Lions, one of the title contenders, held for 96 minutes before a late minute penalty gave Mane the opportunity to put his side ahead.

African Footballer of the Year holder, Mane said he "did not want to make excuses but the mid-afternoon heat when playing Zimbabwe and a lack of warm-up matches due to the coronavirus had an impact".

GROUP C -- Morocco, Gabon, Comoros and Ghana

Ghana whose last triumph came over 4 decades ago will face Gabon on Friday in Yaounde, which will decide the runner-up spot behind likely group winner Morocco.

Aaron Boupendza, who led the Gabon attack in the absence of COVID-19-sidetracked Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scored the goal that secured victory over Comoros.

With so much at stake, this promises to be a close encounter, while Morocco are likely to follow up a win over Ghana by securing three more points at the expense of the Comorans.

GROUP D -- Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt and Guinea-Bissau

Group leaders, Nigeria face limited Sudan next and are poised to finish first and face a third-placed team in the second round while Egypt will probably meet title-holders Algeria or the Ivory Coast if they come second.

Mohamed Salah-captained Egypt will need more than Premier League glories to push his side against Guinea-Bissau on Saturday in Garoua if they hope to go all the way in Cameroon and win a record-extending eighth title.

He is the main man for the Pharaohs and the Super Eagles have given the template to stop him. So he needs to step up his game.

Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz was furious after the loss to Nigeria, labelling the performance "very poor. We started playing only in the second half."

GROUP E -- Ivory Coast, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone

Even title holders Algeria and fellow two-time champions Ivory Coast were victims of the goal drought plaguing all the teams playing in the AFCON 2021 now 2022.

Algeria could not find the back of the net as Sierra Leone proved a formidable opponent while Ivory Coast could only manage a solitary goal against Equatorial Guinea.

On the World's ranking, Sierra Leone are 79 places below the Algerians while Equatorial Guinea could have become defeated Ivory Coast if they had been more clinical in front of goal.

The confidence of the underdogs must have risen after those gallant performances -- the Sierra Leoneans face Ivory Coast and the Equatoguineans meet Algeria on Sunday.

GROUP F -- Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Tunisia

Debutants Gambia, climaxed their 16 failed qualifying attempts with a victory over Mauritania, face co-leaders Mali knowing even one point would be enough to book a last-16 place.

While Mali and Tunisia remain favourites to occupy the two automatic qualifying places, any third-place team collecting four points are likely to advance as well.

Tunisia, fuming after the referee blew the end of a loss to Mali three minutes before he should have, face Mauritania, a nation they were surprisingly held by at the last Cup of Nations.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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African Cup of Nations 2021/2022 TABLE

African Cup of Nations
No Teams P Pts
1 Cameroon 3 7
2 Cape Verde 3 4
3 Burkina Faso 3 4
4 Ethiopia 3 1
No Teams P Pts
1 Senegal 3 5
2 Malawi 3 4
3 Guinea 3 4
4 Zimbabwe 3 3
No Teams P Pts
1 Morocco 3 7
2 Gabon 3 5
3 Comoros 3 3
4 Ghana 3 1
No Teams P Pts
1 Nigeria 3 9
2 Egypt 3 6
3 Guinea-Bissau 3 1
4 Sudan 3 1
No Teams P Pts
1 Mali 3 7
2 Gambia 3 7
3 Tunisia 3 3
4 Mauritania 3 0
Full Table

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Nigeria
Nigeria

The Nigeria national football team represents Nigeria in men's international football nicknamed as the Super Eagles and it is governed b...

Ghana
Ghana

Ghana National Football Team represents Ghana in men's international football and has done so since the 1950s. They are also known as t...

Mali
Mali

Mali National Football Team represents Mali in men's international football and is governed by the Malian Football Federation. Mali i...

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast national football team also known as The Elephants represents Ivory Coast in men's international football. The team is man...

Egypt
Egypt

The Egyptian national football team also known as the Pharaohs is governed by the Egypt Football Association (EFA) which represents me...

Senegal
Senegal

The Senegal national football team knew as "the Lions of Teranga" represents Senegal in men's international football. It is Controll...

Algeria
Algeria

The Algeria national football team which is also known as THE GREENS represents Algeria in men's international football and is gover...

Tunisia
Tunisia

Tunisia national football team represents Tunisia men's international football and it was founded in 1957 after the Tunisian independ...

Cameroon
Cameroon

The Cameroon national also known as the Indomitable Lions football team represents Cameroon men's international football players and is...

Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso

The Burkina Faso national football team also known as The Stallions represents Burkina Faso in men's international football and is c...

Guinea
Guinea

Guinea national football team also known as  Syli Nationale represents Guinea in men's international football and it is controlled ...

Gabon
Gabon

The Gabon national football team also known as The Panthers represents Gabon in men's international football. The team's nicknam...

Cape Verde
Cape Verde

The Cape Verde national football team also known as Blue Sharks represents Cape Verde in men's international association football and...

Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe national football team also known as The Warriors represents Zimbabwe in men's international football and is controlled by ...

Malawi
Malawi

The Malawi national football team also known as The Flames represents Malawi men's international football and is controlled by the Foo...

Ethiopia
Ethiopia

The Ethiopian national football team is also known as Walias represents Ethiopia in men's international football and is controlled by ...

Morocco
Morocco

The Morocco national football team also known as The Atlas Lions represents Morocco in men's international football competitions. It i...

Sudan
Sudan

The Sudan national football team represents Sudan in international football and is controlled by the Sudan Football Association, the governi...

Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau

The Guinea-Bissau national football team is also known as Djurtus represents Guinea-Bissau in men's international association football ...

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone national football team is also known as Leone Stars represents Sierra Leone in men's international association footbal...

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