A clinical performance saw Cameroon easily brush aside Malawi with a comfortable 2-0 scoreline in a Group B 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifiers played at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde on Friday night.
Flames head coach Meck Mwase made some changes to his usual first eleven, with Gabadinho Mhango, Peter Cholopi, Chimwemwe Idana and Francisco Madinga all starting from the bench.
It only took nine minutes for the hosts to break the deadlock through Vincent Aboubakar who had all the time in the world when he found himself unmarked in the 18-yard box before chesting the ball down to unleash a thunderous shot which was just too much for Ernest Kakhobwe to handle, 1-0.
Moments later, the visitors had their opportunity to level the scoreline through a corner which was well defended by the Indomitable Lions.
The Flames found themselves 2-0 down in the 23rd minute when Michael Ngadeu headed in from a corner after taking advantage of Ernest Kakhobwe’ erratic decision to leave his line of duty as he missed to clear the ball from a well taken corner kick, 2-0.
In the second half, as expected, it was the hosts who continued their dominance by applying pressure from the get-go and wasted no time in pinning the visitors against the wall in search of more goals to completely bury their hopes of a comeback alive.
Aboubakar send a delightful cross inside Malawi’s half which was well blocked by Charles Petro for a throw in.
After 50 minutes, Mwase made a double substitution when he brought in Mhango and Chikoti Chirwa for Gerald Phiri Jnr and Taonga Chimodzi.
Mhango should have done better in the 55th minute when he dribbled past Cameroonian defence only to drive his effort wide off Epassy’ goal sticks for a goalkick.
The Flames had another opportunity in the 67nd minute through a corner from which Peter Banda shot straight at Epassy to the delight of the hosts who were in their comfort zone.
Malawi were slowly building momentum and should have reduced the arrears in the 72nd minute when Mhango had a clear view of the goal only to send a weaker shot straight at the hosts’ shot-stopper.
Mwase made a last-ditch attempt to reduce the deficit when he brought in Khuda Muyaba for Richard Mbulu but to unlock the Indomitable Lion’s defence proved too futile for the visitors.
With Malawi looking helpless from the early goals, Choupo went on an amazing solo run past three defenders to lay the ball for Aboubakar who did everything right only to be denied by Kakhobwe for a corner kick which was easily cleared by the Flames.
Cameroon’s last chance of the match came in the 88th minute through a freekick which was played by Zambo but went over the bar for a goalkick and that was all for the match.
The result means Malawi are anchoring the table with no point and they should now switch their focus to Wednesday’s match against Mozambique at Orlando Stadium in South Africa.
Cameroon’s win means they are topping the group with three points, seconded by Ivory Coast which has a point following a goalless draw away to Mozambique earlier in the day.