Cape Verde 1-1 Cameroon: Hosts finish top of AFCON Group A despite giving up first-half lead

Cameroon gave up a first-half lead to draw 1-1 with Cape Verde Islands, but the hosts still finished top of Group A in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Captain Vincent Aboubakar scored his fifth goal of the tournament to put Cameroon in the lead in the 39th minute, before half-time substitute Garry Rodrigues equalised in the 53rd minute.

Rodrigues’ audacious back-flick ensured Cape Verde finished with four points in third place in the standings. They are likely to advance as one of four best third-placed finishers.

Rodrigues had been a surprise omission from the starting line-up but underlined his ability soon after coming on.

Aboubakar’s left-footed shot after a botched clearance from the Cape Verdians followed his double scored in each of the opening two matches.

Cameroon’s captain and goalscorer Vincent Aboubakar gestures towards supporters

But Cameroon were unable to end the group phase with three victories, which had been their ambition.

“It was a difficult opponent who made things tough for us,” Aboubakar said after the game.

“It was difficult to win although we wanted to finish with a 100 per cent record. But we must not be negative about it because we are through.”

Aboubakar also missed a close-in chance in the second half, but, overall, Cameroon had limited chances in the match at the Olembe Stadium.

Burkina Faso finished second, also with four points, after a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia in the other Group A match

What’s next?

As winners of Group A, Cameroon will play the best third-placed team from Group C, D or E at 7pm on January 24.

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