Cameroon 4-1 Ethiopia: Aboubakar and Toko Ekambi double up for AFCON hosts

By Sports Desk January 13, 2022

Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar led from the front with a clinical double as the Africa Cup of Nations hosts swept to a 4-1 win over Ethiopia.

At the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi feasted on generous defending to make it two wins from two for Cameroon. For Aboubakar, this was his second double in AFCON so far, after also scoring twice in an opening win over Burkina Faso.

Ethiopia stunned the home crowd with a fourth-minute opener, Dawa Hotessa tucking in from close range after some dismal defending. But there was a near-immediate response, Cameroon levelling with a fine header from Toko Ekambi in the eighth minute.

Aboubakar saw a 25-yard shot repelled by Ethiopia goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko in the lead-up, but Collins Fai collected the loose ball wide on the right and sent in a fine cross for Toko Ekambi to finish clinically at the far post.

It was another cross from Fai that caused chaos in the Ethiopia penalty area and allowed the hosts to edge 2-1 ahead in the 53rd minute. The delivery came from the right once more, and Aboubakar powered his header down into the ground and into the back of the net.

Aboubakar's second arrived two minutes later, the striker tucking in Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's low cross from the edge of the six-yard box. Toko Ekambi, who also hit the post with a header, completed his own double with a powerful low shot in the 67th minute as Ethiopia's defence stood off, unable to handle Cameroon's quality once more, the story of the game encapsulated.

Related items

  • Spalletti confirms Simeone deal close as Napoli begin 'new cycle' Spalletti confirms Simeone deal close as Napoli begin 'new cycle'

    Napoli are closing in on the signing of Verona striker Giovanni Simeone as Luciano Spalletti said the Serie A club are beginning a "new cycle" following a host of big-name exits.

    Spalletti's team threatened a first Scudetto since the Diego Maradona era before tailing off to finish third last season, but have since seen the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne depart.

    Reports have suggested Napoli will combat the losses of Mertens and Insigne – the top two goalscorers in the club's history – by bringing in Verona striker Simeone on an initial loan deal.

    Simeone – the son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone – scored 17 Serie A goals last season, a tally bettered only by Ciro Immobile (27), Dusan Vlahovic (24) and Lautaro Martinez (21).

    The Argentine averaged a goal every 157 minutes throughout the campaign, converting 55 per cent of his big chances.

    Ahead of Napoli travelling to Verona for their Serie A opener on Monday, Spalletti revealed the striker's arrival was imminent as he pledged to rebuild the Partenopei's side.

    "If everything is okay, of course he will come, we are waiting for him, if you stay, say hello to him too!" Spalletti said amid reports Simeone was undergoing a medical with Napoli.

    "He is one we need and Naples is what he needs, it is a correct purchase.

    "We will do our best right away, and that I am convinced that we will make the fans fall in love again, as happened last year.

    "Now we are talking about a Napoli that no longer sees in their ranks the most important players, and there is talk of players for a new cycle.

    "It's a responsibility that stimulates me a lot. Of course, a little support from the city and society is needed, the most difficult things are those of the changing room dynamics.

    "They changed without [Faouzi] Ghoulam, [David] Ospina, Mertens and Insigne. In addition to the game dynamics there are those of character, and we have to recreate those there. I'm not afraid of anything." 

  • Mbappe desperate for first Ballon d'Or win, names Benzema and Mane as main rivals Mbappe desperate for first Ballon d'Or win, names Benzema and Mane as main rivals

    Kylian Mbappe claimed it is a "big lie" to say players do not care about winning the Ballon d'Or as he named Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane as his main rivals for this year's award.

    Mbappe was named on a 30-man shortlist to be named the best player in the world on Friday, having scored 39 goals in all competitions as Paris Saint-Germain won the Ligue 1 title last season.

    No player across the top five European leagues matched Mbappe's total of 60 goal contributions across the 2021-22 campaign, although his France team-mate Benzema is the clear favourite after helping Real Madrid to the Champions League and LaLiga trophies. 

    In an interview with France Football, Mbappe, who has previously backed Benzema to win the award, acknowledged he was desperate to be named the world's best.

    "I've always wanted to do it early, without limiting my dreams. I want to win it and I don't mind admitting it," he said.

    "I am convinced that lifting the first one is the most complicated. Once you have officially entered that select group, it will be easier to revalidate it.

    "It is a big lie that a footballer is not interested in the Ballon d'Or. It is hypocritical to say that. 

    "We all think about that. We talk about a team, and a collective, because in some way it serves to camouflage our ambition, but it is honest to admit that we care. 

    "For two years I have been a more real candidate for the award. Before, I was content to be in the top 10. Now, on the other hand, I am among the four or five most regular.

    "We don't talk about the Ballon d'Or in January, but we make comments when the lists appear. Later, as the ceremony draws near, it's obviously a topic of conversation in the group. We make our bets, we debate our opinions."

    Asked for his own top three, the striker said: "I think Benzema, Mane and me."

     

    Mbappe's first Ballon d'Or nomination came in 2017, when then-Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat Lionel Messi and Neymar to the award.

    And the 23-year-old said being among the hopefuls early on in his career gave him confidence that he would make it at an elite level.

    "Frankly, it was an honour," he recalled. "I was barely of legal age and I was already associated with those great names. It may seem trivial, but it was something important. A real step forward in my career. 

    "Somehow it was a message that served to say that I was among the best. I accredited myself as an elite footballer in the eyes of the world, and it was significant to belong to that list at only 18 years old."

    Meanwhile, the headline omission from 2022's list of nominees is seven-time winner and current holder Lionel Messi, who last failed to be nominated in 2005 – when Ronaldinho edged out Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in the voting.

    As Mbappe recalled his PSG team-mate's victory last year, he said the Argentina star's nervousness on the eve of the gala demonstrated that his desire to be the best remains strong.

    "The morning of the last gala he was nervous because a few hours later he was going to collect a seventh Ballon d'Or. Maybe he was thinking about what he was going to say, how he was going to lift the trophy," Mbappe said.

    "I told him it is not possible to be restless after having been there six other times. I would have gone with a cigarette in my mouth! 

    "But that shows that he retains the soul of a child and that he is still excited to choose to be the best. He has not tired."

     

  • 'Only Sampdoria and Lecce spent less than us' – Mourinho surprised by Roma title talk 'Only Sampdoria and Lecce spent less than us' – Mourinho surprised by Roma title talk

    Jose Mourinho is surprised Roma are being talked up as Serie A title contenders given "only Sampdoria and Lecce spent less than us".

    The Giallorossi finished sixth last season and won the inaugural Europa Conference League in May.

    Roma pulled off a huge coup by signing Paulo Dybala on a free transfer and have since brought in Georginio Wijnaldum on a season-long loan deal.

    Mile Svilar and Zeki Celik have also joined the Eternal City giants, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan the most-high profile player to depart – joining Inter as a free agent – and Jordan Veretout also moving on to Marseille.

    A 1-0 friendly victory over Tottenham and a 5-0 rout of Shakhtar Donetsk have increased the hype ahead of Roma's first Serie A match of the season at Salernitana on Sunday, but Mourinho is playing down expectations.

    The Roma head coach told reporters on Saturday: "There are teams that have an economic potential that is not comparable, I'm not saying the distance between Earth and Mars, but there are people who spend €100-150million per season. 

    "We go play and do the best we can. In the championship we finished in sixth place, our squad improved, we lost Mkhitaryan and Veretout, but we took on players with whom we improved, but other clubs also did. 

    "For this reason, during this period where I didn't need to talk to journalists, it amazes me when it comes to us in one way, but not about the others. Roma can be a candidate for the Scudetto if they have won 18 titles. 

    "Only Sampdoria and Lecce spent less than us. Milan and Inter finished with 25 and 23 points ahead of us and improved. There is a lot of noise around us for an interesting match against Tottenham and Shakhtar. 

    "We talk about us, while there is silence around other teams. Lazio spent €39 million, are they candidates for the Scudetto?"

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.