Despite drawing 1-1 against Cape Verde in the final Africa Cup of Nations Group A game, Cameroon confirmed passage to the knockout phase as table leaders at the Olembe Stadium on Monday.
Vincent Aboubakar and Garry Rodriguez struck for the Indomitable Lions and the Blue Sharks respectively in either half to earn a point for either side.
Cameroon finished with seven points whereas Cape Verde managed to amass four in third, same as second-placed Burkina Faso, even though the latter has a superior head to head.
The hosts dominated the opening half, creating several chances that Aboubakar could not turn into a goal in the 12th and 28th minutes.
He however superbly broke the deadlock at 39 minutes after latching on Harold Moukoudi’s pass after Cape Verde’s defence failing to deal with Nicholas Moumi Ngamaleu’s freekick.
The Blue Sharks returned for the final stanza energized and made quick surges to try and grind a leveller.
Their pressure paid off in the 53rd minute when substitute Garry Rodriguez brilliantly flicked in a Jamiro Monteiro good pass, to put Cape back into the qualification conversation.
Aboubakar nearly added Cameroon’s tally and his second of the night but he missed a 66th-minute sitter after custodian Josimar Dias Vozinha had failed to deal with a cross.
At the 90th minute mark, the forward nearly broke the Blue Sharks’ hearts with a sublime backheel but was blocked by the latter’s resilient backline.
Whereas Cameroon is now awaiting their round of 16 opponents, Cape Verde who are still not sure of progress awaits results in other groups.
With their four-point tally, they are most likely going to go through as one of the best third-placed sides though.
How they lined up
Cape Verde XI: Josimar Dias Vozinha(GK), Diney Boges, Patrick Andrade, Jeffrey Fortes, Roberto Lopez, Jamiro Monteiro, Kenny Rocha Santos, Lisandro Semedo, Willy Semedo, Stopira(c), Dylan Tavares.
Substitutions: Delmiro, Steven Fortes, Willis Furtado, Nenas, Joao Paulo, Ponck, Garry Rodriguez, Marcio Rossa, Marco Soarez, Gilson Tavares, Vagner, Keven Jorge Sousa Ramo.
Cameroon XI: Andre Onana(GK)/(c), Nohou Tolo, Micheal Ngadeu, Harold Moukoudi, Collins Fai, Pierre Kunde, Karl Toko Ekambi, Zambo Anguisa, Samuel Oum Gouet, Nicholas Moumi Ngamaleu, Vincent Aboubakar.
Substitutions: Stephen Bahoken, Christan Bassogog, Jean Efala, Eric Maxim Choupo Moting, Devis Epassy, James Lea Siliki, Yvan Neyou, Olivier Mbaizo, Clinton Nj’ie, Jerome Onguene, Jean Onana, Ambroise Oyongo.