Cameroon defeated Burundi 3-0 at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua on Tuesday night to secure a berth at the next Africa Cup of Nations.
The Indomitable Lions triumphed thanks to goals from Bryan Mbuemo, Christopher Wooh and Vincent Aboubakar, thereby claiming top spot in Group C and guaranteeing their presence at the tournament in Ivory Coast early next year.
The result is also welcome news for Namibia, who finished in second spot in the three-team group and will therefore return to the Afcon for the first time since 2019.
The Indomitable Lions have booked their tickets to a historic 21st #TotalEnergiesAFCON appearance! 🦁🇨🇲#TotalEnergiesAFCONQ2023 pic.twitter.com/vjh7wynasX — CAF (@CAF_Online) September 12, 2023
Burundi were the more potent attacking force in the opening half-hour, with Caleb Bimenyimana and Saidi Ntibazonkiza forcing returning Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana into several impressive saves.
The hosts took some time to find their own rhythm, but between the 30 and 40 minute mark they began to apply pressure to the visitors’ defence, with Vincent Aboubakar and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting drawing saves from goalkeeper Onesime Rukundo.
Yet it was the Swallows who reasserted their attacking impetus as halftime approached, with Onana again called on to make a couple of fine saves to deny Abed Bigirimana and Ntibazonkiza and ensure the scoreline was blank heading into the interval.
The Indomitable Lions broke the deadlock inside the opening 60 seconds of the second half, with a poor back-pass allowing Bryan Mbuemo to latch onto a loose ball inside the penalty and provide a simple finish for 1-0.
It should have been 2-0 in the 53rd minute when Mbuemo did more good work to tee Aboubakar up with a glaring chance, but the prolific striker failed to convert from close range.
However, Christopher Wooh had no such difficulty in the 59th minute, capitalising on a loose ball in the six-yard area after a corner kick to sweep home a low shot and put the hosts two goals up.
Burundi made a triple change with just under 20 minutes of regulation time to play, introducing Mussa Madjaliwa, Bienvenu Kanakimana and Pacifique Niyongabire in an effort to bring themselves back into the game.
However, Cameroon’s defence was much more solid compared to the first half, and they were easily able to hold off any attempts at a comeback, with Aboubakar ultimately capitalising on another defensive blunder in injury time to wrap up the scoring at 3-0.
Cameroon (0) 3 (Mbuemo 46’, Wooh 59’, Aboubakar 90+3’)
Cameroon: Onana, Mbaizo, Moukoudi, Wooh (Gonzalez 90’), Nouhou, Kemen, Anguissa, Mbuemo (Njie 90’), Choupo-Moting (Gouet 78’), Toko Ekambi (Ngamaleu 90+3’), Aboubakar
Burundi: Rukundo, Mukombozi, Nsabiyumva, Nduwarugira, Nahimana (Kanakimana 73’), Ndayishimiye, Amissi (Madjaliwa 73’), Bigirimana, Jordi (Niyongabire 73’), Bimenyimana (Hussein 75’), Ntibazonkiza (Kirongozi 88’)