Johannesburg – After Cameroon skipper and prolific finisher Vincent Aboubakar got his fifth goal of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) during the 1-1 draw encounter with Cape Verde last Monday, it was a forgone conclusion that the hosts have already qualified for the knockout stage.
Of significance is that Aboubakar has equalled the record of the current president of the Cameroon Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, who achieved the feat twice, in 2006 and 2008, as he scored five goals to win the Golden Boot award in both tournaments.
No doubt, Aboubakar, 30, could emerge as the leading scorer after the tournament as the pre-tournament favourites and rivals of the Indomitable Lions’ striker – the likes Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane of Senegal – have so far scored once.
The burly forward got his two braces during the tough matches against Burkina Faso and Ethiopia and got one more during the draw with Cape Verde. His total of international goals stands at 30 in 81 matches. Aboubakar plays his club football for Riyadh-based Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.
Hot on his heels is Aboubakar’s compatriot, Karl Toko Ekambi, and Malawi’s and Orlando Pirates marksman Gabadinho Mhango, challenging him with two goals each.
ameroon takes on Comoros in the last 16 rounds tomorrow while Malawi clashes with Morocco on Tuesday.
Ghana’s Black Stars, booted out in the first round, have Andre Ayew and there is a string of Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ star players like Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho with one goal apiece.
Afcon leading scorers
5 – Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon).
3 – Ibrahima Kone (Mali).
2 – Ahmed Mongi (Comoros), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia), Ablie Jallow (Gambia), Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast), Mhango (Malawi), Jim Allevinah (Gabon), Sofiane Boufal (Morocco), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon).
1 – Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Taiwo Awoniyi (Nigeria), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Moses Simon (Nigeria), Samuel Chukwueze.
Last 16 round fixtures
Monday: Guinea v Gambia (6pm); Cameroon v Comoros (9pm);
Tuesday: Senegal v Cape Verde (6pm); Morocco v Malawi (9pm);
Wednesday: Cote d’Ivoire v Egypt (6pm); Mali v Equatorial Guinea (9pm).
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