Poor finishing saw 2018 semi-finalists Cameroon settle for a barren draw with Zambia in their opening match of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) in Marrakech on Sunday.
The Lionesses dominated the game but were unable to get the three points and saw a late goal disallowed for offside when they thought they had got the winner.
Zambia did not offer any threat and it was Cameroon all the way with substitute Alice Kameni guilty of missing two clear opportunities, first at the near post and second from a header, with the goalkeeper beaten on both occasions.
With both teams seemingly headed for a draw, captain Gabrielle Onguene scored a brilliant goal for Cameroon deep into stoppage time but the Lionesses’ celebrations were short-lived as the goal was disallowed for offside from the skipper.
Cameroon and Zambia are now second in Group B with a point each as Tunisia lead the group following their 4-1 victory over Togo in the late kick off ahead of Wednesday’s matches where the Lionesses will face the Togolese while the Carthage Eaglets play the Shepolopolo.
Debutants Togo received a rude welcome, going down after just one minute when Mariem Houij chipped the ball over Ame Amouklou in goal following a neat exchange of passes before Sabrine Ellouzi made it 2-0 in the 12th minute.
Odette Gnintegma reduced the arrears for Togo via the penalty spot for their first ever goal at the tournament and they should have made it 2-2 just before half-time when Afi Woedikou missed after rounding off the goalkeeper.
After the break, Togo received a blow when Ella Djankale was sent off for denying Ellouzi a clear goalscoring opportunity in the 55th minute.
The contest had been even until then but after the red card, Tunisia utilised their numerical advantage and Ellouzi scored her second and Tunisia’s third in the 61st minute, heading in a Sabrine Mamay free-kick.
Houij also sealed her brace nine minutes later following poor goalkeeping from Amouklou, who made a mess of the ball carrying it over the line to hand Tunisia an easy goal.
Meanwhile, Senegal got their campaign off to a winning start when they beat Uganda 2-0 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Senegal proved too strong for the Crested Cranes who were making a return to the continental event for the first time in 22 years with Ndeye Awa Diakhate and Nguenar Ndiaye on target.
The East Africans had started well but Aisha Nantongo’s reckless tackle saw the referee point to the spot just before half-time with Diakhate scoring Senegal’s opener six minutes from time.
Senegal then extended their lead after catching Uganda trying to play out from the back when Yudaya Nakayenze miss-timed her pass which Nguenar capitalised on and rounded off a helpless Ruth Aturo in the Cranes goal before slotting into the net five minutes after the break.
Victory puts Senegal top of Group A with three points, the same as Morocco, who beat Burkina Faso 1-0 on Saturday, but with a superior goal difference ahead of Tuesday’s second round of matches where they will face the Burkinabe while the hosts take on Uganda.