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Lions devour Elephants, Nigeria held

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MOTING-IVORY-COASTZURICH, August 11- A new look Cameroon team continued a great start to 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying by thrashing star-stacked Côte d’Ivoire 4-1 in Yaounde.

Clinton N’Jie and Vincent Aboubakar scored twice each for the Indomitable Lions with reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure on target for the Elephants.

Cameroon, Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Senegal and Tunisia achieved back-to-back victories while Egypt are in trouble after successive defeats.

Defending champions Nigeria maintained their record of never losing nor conceding a goal against South Africa in a competitive match by forcing a 0-0 Cape Town stalemate. It was a crucial away point for the Super Eagles after a stunning home defeat by Congo last Saturday.

Algeria snatched a 1-0 win over Mali in Blida, Congo defeated Sudan 2-0 in Pointe-Noire, Burkina Faso romped to a 3-0 win over Angola in Luanda and Cape Verde edged 2012 champions Zambia 2-1 in Praia.

Senegal triumphed 2-0 over Botswana in Gaborone and Tunisia beat record seven-time champions Egypt 1-0 in Cairo, leaving the pointless Pharaohs bottom of Group G.

Cameroon opened their Group D campaign with a 2-0 victory in the Democratic Republic of Congo last Saturday and have a three-point lead after two match days.

The Congolese bounced back to overcome Sierra Leone 2-0 in Lubumbashi and share second place with the Ivorians on three points. Sierra Leone, forced to play a home fixture in DR Congo because of the Ebola crisis, are pointless having lost in Côte d’Ivoire four days ago.

Stars axed

Germany-born Cameroon coach Volker Finke recently axed 13 of the FIFA World Cup squad that fared poorly in Brazil three months ago, including talisman Samuel Eto’o.

Record four-time African Footballer of the Year Eto’o retired from international football a week later, and young stars N’Jie and Aboubakar have taken up the mantle.

They have scored three goals each in two qualifiers and both came close to hat-tricks against an Ivorian side lucky to escape with only a three-goal defeat at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo.

Cameroon had a goal disallowed, struck the woodwork and came close to scoring several other times in a display reminiscent of the great Lions teams that won the African title four times.

A deflection off a defender helped N’Jie put Cameroon ahead on 15 minutes only for Toure to level ten minutes later when he slid in to convert a cross.

Aboubakar intercepted a headed back-pass to fire past veteran goalkeeper Boubacar Barry and give the home team a 2-1 half-time lead.

A loose ball was hammered home by Aboubakar on 54 minutes and he set up N’Jie to score with an unstoppable close-range shot 14 minutes from time.

Ghana edge Togo on road

Christian Atsu netted five minutes from time to earn Ghana a 3-2 away victory over Togo after a see-saw west African derby.

Jonathan Ayite gave Togo an early lead, then headed goals from Asamoah Gyan and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu put Ghana in front by half-time.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Emmanuel Adebayor equalised 13 minutes from time and Atsu won the match with a low shot from outside the box.

Victory for Ghana after a disappointing home draw with Uganda relieved pressure on coach Kwesi Appiah amid media speculation that a defeat would have seen him fired.

Burkina Faso, runners-up to Nigeria in the 2013 Cup of Nations final, triumphed 3-0 thanks to a brace from Jonathan Pitroipa after Aristide Bance had opened the scoring.

Atusaye Nyondo bagged a brace as Malawi edged Ethiopia 3-2 in a Blantyre battle of Group B teams who lost their opening matches to Mali and Algeria respectively.

-FIFA.com

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