Cameroon got their title defence at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations off to a bright start after they opened their tournament with a 2-0 victory against Guinea-Bissau in Group F.
Coach Clarence Seedorf secured his first AFCON win after his side took their time to find the back of the net, finally breaking the deadlock with two goals in quick succession from Yaya Banana and Stephane Bahoken.
Four-time champions Ghana finished with 10 men as they began their campaign with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Benin.
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Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan each scored while Mickael Pote bagged a brace for Benin, but John Boye's dismissal in the second half impaired the Black Stars as they started off slow in Egypt.
Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau
Ghana 2-2 Benin
Group F Standings (Played, Points, Goal Difference)
1. Cameroon: 1, 3, +2
2. Benin: 1, 1, 0
3. Ghana: 1, 1, 0
4. Guinea-Bissau: 1, 0, -2
(Group B) Nigeria vs. Guinea, 3:30 p.m. BST/10:30 a.m. ET
(Group A) Uganda vs. Zimbabwe, 6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ET
(Group A) Egypt vs. D.R. Congo, 9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ET
Cameroon toiled on their way to an opening win over Guinea-Bissau but got just reward after spurning a catalogue of good chances in the first period.
Defender Banana rose highest to meet Karl Toko Ekambi's corner in the 66th minute to finally land the breakthrough for Seedorf's men, via beIN Sports (U.S. only):
Guinea-Bissua made their Africa Cup of Nations debut in 2017 and failed to make it past the group stage. After showing some early promise against one of this year's favourites, they will have been disappointed with how the team failed to offer more of an attacking threat at Ismailia Stadium.
Three minutes after the opener, defender Rudinilson Silva headed the ball onto his own team-mate, and Bahoken hoovered up to make it 2-0 (U.S. only):
The Djurtus hit the target just once in 90 minutes, per FlashScores.com, as Cameroon and Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana had a relatively quiet evening. The victors weren't a lot more accurate in their shots-on-target ratio but made several key moments count.
Ghana's meeting with Benin contained a good deal of those in what was a surprisingly dramatic clash from the beginning.
Cebio Soukou put forward partner Pote through on goal in some space, but the Adana Demirspor finisher still had a lot to do before he checked back and finished low for the opener.
The elder of the Ayew siblings, Andre, equalised seven minutes later, and Swansea City-based Jordan was well placed to put the front-runners ahead shortly before half-time:
Boye appeared to have forgot he had already been cautioned when he earned a second yellow card for time-wasting, reducing the leaders (at the time) to 10 men.
Pote, 34, was again on hand to prod home for Benin after they showed quick thinking from a corner (U.S. only):
Broadcaster Deji Faremi praised the forward for the composure displayed in his two finishes:
Benin can count their chances of qualification very much alive after a stubborn display, though Ghana will be dismayed after dropping points at the first hurdle.