Brave 10-man Guinea hold off Cameroon

A spirited performance from Guinea saw the minnows hold former African Cup of Nations champions Cameroon to a 1-1 draw. 

Mohamed Bayo had given Guinea a shock early lead before captain Francois Kamano was sent off in first-half stoppage time following a VAR review for standing on Frank Magri’s foot.

Magri’s header levelled things up six minutes into the second half, but Cameroon could not find a winner past the well-organised Guinea defence.

Earlier, defending champions Senegal had beaten Gambia 3-0 to sit top of Group C.

Cameroon – missing injured captain Vincent Aboubakar – started with Fabrice Ondoa in goal after bad weather caused travel problems for his cousin Andre Onana, who had flown in from Manchester on a private jet only to be further delayed and not named in the match squad.

Guinea, without Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy, took a shock lead in the 10th minute.

Cameroon midfielder Olivier Kemen lost possession on the edge of the penalty area and Le Havre forward Bayo stabbed the loose ball past Ondoa.

The Indomitable Lions, five-time African champions, looked for a swift response as captain Frank Anguissa headed wide at the far post.

Guinea defender Sekou Sylla tried a long-range effort to catch Ondoa off his line, but the back-pedalling Nimes keeper was relieved to see the ball drop onto the roof of the net.

Guinea, though, were down to 10 men in stoppage time at the end of the first half when Kamano was sent off following a VAR review after standing on Magri’s foot.

Having looked at the challenge again on the pitchside monitor, Libyan referee Ibrahim Mutaz rescinded the original yellow card and showed a red to the forward.

Cameroon equalised six minutes into the second half when Magri got up at the back post to head in Georges-Kevin Nkoudou’s deep cross from the left.

Just after the hour, Guinea midfielder Aguibou Camara burst clear on the right, only to be brought down by Cameroon defender Harold Moukoudi, who was shown a yellow card.

Cameroon pressed for a late winner, with N’Koudou glancing a header wide before Guinea keeper Ibrahim Kone saved from Karl Toko at point-blank range as the 10 men held out.