Reigning African champions Cameroon had a winning start to their title defense after a 2-0 win over Guinea Bissau with goals coming courtesy of Banana Yaya and Stephane Bahoken in a match staged at the Ismaïlia Stadium on Tuesday 25th June.
This game marked the second fixture for both sides at the 2017 AFCON with Cameroon emerging on top after a 2-1 win. Guinea Bissau were looking to do better after their maiden appearance in the last edition that saw them exit at the group stage hurdle.
Cameroon started on a strong footing and it took them only 11 minutes to create a clear cut chance when Frank Zambo Anguissa laid the ball off to Sutchuin Djoum whose long-range effort from outside the 18-yard area narrowly missed the top corner.
Clarence Seedorf’s boys went close again at the stroke the half-hour mark after a long pinged ball from their own half found Toko Ekambi on the left flank who did well to cut the ball back to Christian Bassogog but the Henan Jianye forward horribly skied his effort as he seemed to blame his poor effort on the bouncing ball.
The Indomitable Lions were having a first half to forget when a shot-freekick on the right channel was crossed by Bassogog but a header from Joyskim Dawa required a last-ditch save by Jonas Mendes who palmed the ball out for a corner.
The resumption of the second half did not change the fortunes of Cameroon as they continued with their trend of fluffing their lines this time the culprit being Paris Saint-Germain forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting whose curling effort to the bottom right post was pushed away for a corner by the brilliant Mendes who was having a fine game.
The Guinea Bissau reliance in defense was finally broken in the 66th minute when Toko Ekambi delivered an inch-perfect cross that was met by a bullet header from Banana Yaya for his first goal for Cameroon since 2017 when he scored against Zambia in a World Cup qualifier.
Djurtus were rocked by the goal and conceded a second three minutes later when substitute Stephane Bahoken who had been on the pitch for less than two minutes scored with his first touch after Ambroise Oyongo whipped in a low cross that the Guinea Bissau defense failed to deal with as it fell to Bahoken who fired home.
Cameroon next face a tricky tie against Ghana on Saturday 29th June while Guinea Bissau face Benin on the same day.