Hosts Cameroon opened the 2016 women’s Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Egypt in front of a home crowd which included Cameroon’s President Paul Biya and national football legend Samuel Eto’o.
Goals from Aboudi Onguene and captain Manie Chrisitine gave the Indomitable Lionesses a winning start to their campaign.
Later in Yaounde, South Africa and Zimbabwe were set to meet in the second Group A fixture in a southern African derby.
Cameroon piled on the pressure early on but failed to make their final balls into the area count, frequently finding the Egyptian defence.
However the home side found a way through in the 23rd minute when a cross from Falone Meffoumetou from the right was met by the head of Aboudi Onguene whose glancing header beat the goalkeeper and went over the line off the post.
Cameroon also came close when Ngono Mani curled a long range effort over the top of Egypt’s goalkeeper Maha Shehata, but it hit the post and was eventually cleared.
The second half started in the same vein as the first with Cameroon dominating.
Ongeune outfoxed the Egyptian defence to get into the area and cross to the feet of Ngono Mani who went down as the crowd roared for a penalty – only for the appeals to be waved away by the Ethiopian referee, Lydia Tafesse.
More penalty appeals followed for Cameroon and the hosts were eventually awarded one when Njoya Ajara was fouled on the goal line.
Captain Manie Christine stepped up to take the spot-kick, sending the Egyptian goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-0.
On a difficult afternoon for Egypt, Cameroon completely dominated the match with their own keeper not being tested at all.
The result put Cameroon top of Group A before South Africa and Zimbabwe’s late match on Saturday.
On Sunday, the reigning African champions Nigeria were scheduled to face Mali in the first match of Group B, followed by Ghana against Kenya.