A freekick by Franck Evina saw Cameroon edge Mali 1-0 to register their first Group A win of the Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations at Cairo International Stadium on Monday.
Already with a point in the bag from their first match against Ghana, Cameroon collected their first win.
It was another winless outing for Mali who lost their first game to hosts Egypt and they are now out of the running.
Mali appeared keen to win this encounter with Boubacar Traore being the first one to make an attempt at goal but saw Cameroon goalkeeper Omossola Medjo alert to repel his shot from the top left corner 13 minutes into the game.
Mali were back again with Aly Malle closely missing the target.
It took half an hour for Cameroon to make a serious attempt at goal when France-born defender Oumar Gonzalez forced a save from Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita who also denied Franck Evina.
Cameroon had seized control of the game with Victor Mpindi Ekani getting close but directing his headed effort high.
The pendulum swung and Maharafa Tandina and Malle came close for Mali within five minutes after the interval as the contest promised goals.
Maharafa Tandina and substitute El Bilal Toure also pushed for Mali while Raphael Anaba skied his effort for Cameroon.
Mali continued with their dominance with Bilal Toure, Traore and Ibrahima Kone each missing the target but substitute Martin Hongla had the Cameroonians going ahead from a counter-attack.
While Mali controlled the game, Cameroon took the lead through Evina’s strike from a free-kick 14 minutes from time.
Having been lively in the second half, Mali did little to respond to Evina’s goal, leaving Cameroon firmly in control.
Cameroon will now face Egypt in their last group game on Thursday while Mali lock horns with Ghana.