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AFCON: Cameroon and Mali in 1-1 Tie 

In what turned out to be a trend in opening matches of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Equatorial Guinea, the Cameroon-Mali encounter Tuesday ended in a 1-1 tie.

It was the last opening match in the four-group tournament, which has seen the majority of games ending in parity. The Cameroon-Mali tug-of-war was the fifth in eight games in which the two teams shared points.

ambroise oyongo bitolo

Mali’s Yatabaré opened scores at the 71st minute from within the 18-metre-box after receiving a clever free-kick pass from Keita, but on 84 minutes, U.S.-based Cameroon defender Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo (pictured) equalized right at the mouth of the goal after a brilliant run. He was Cameroon’s unlikely hero, that being his first ever goal in an international competition. Mali were the better side in the first half, but Cameroon picked up pace in the second, especially after they went one goal down.

Earlier on Tuesday, the other Group D teams, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea also ended their match in parity, with an excellent Guinea side opening scores, but unable to keep their lead against an Ivoirian side that was one-man down to 10 players.  All four Group D teams therefore have 1 point each after one match.

Cameroon next take on Guinea on January 24.