Bayer 04 Leverkusen central defender Edmond Tapsoba returned from a brief COVID quarantine in time to go the full 90 minutes for Burkina Faso at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Thanks in large part to an inspired performance from the 22-year-old, the Burkinabé Stallions were able to get their tournament back on track with a 1-0 win over Cape Verde.
Earlier in the day, Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting again came in off the bench for Cameroon.
Showing no lingering effects from what might must have been a asymptomatic COVID infection, Edmond Tapsoba of Germany's red company team played 90 spirited minutes in his country's second group stage fixture of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. After falling 1-2 to hosts Cameroon in the opening round, Tapsoba's traditional West African powerhouse grabbed all three points against the Cape Verdean Blue Sharks.
Burkinabé head-coach Kamou Malo, himself returning from COVID quarantine that caused him to miss out on Sunday's opener, entrusted Tapsoba with a share of the the set-piece takes. This enabled the B04 youngster to record two shots on target, including a wonderfully taken free kick in the 13th minute that Verdean keeper Vonzinha had to parry at stretch. Tapsoba remained active on attack builds all evening long, rarely failing to connect on a pass or drop a duel.
The match itself, like nine others at the 2021 AFCON, ended in a 1-0 victory. The Burkinabé Stallions rarely relinquished control of the ball during proceedings. Their opponents did not begin to look threatening until after the hour mark. Keeper Herve Koffi was forced into action on a couple of occasions thereafter, but still didn't need to furnish anything spectacular. A chested-in goal from Hassane Bandé six minutes prior to the stroke of half-time proved the game-winner.
Elsewhere in Bundesliga-related AFCON news, Bayern's Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting put in another relief shift in his country's second win of the competition. Hosts Cameroon bucked the trend of low-scoring matches thus far at this tournament. The hosts put four past Ethiopia in their second group stage match. A shock early lead shook "Les Indomitables" into action. Toni Conceiçao's men scored four unanswered to roll over the East African Ibexes 4-1. Karl Took Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar both grabbed braces.
Choupo-Moting, playing 34 minutes off the bench this time, managed to get off a shot and assist on another. Given that the 32-year-old Hamburg native came on shortly after Cameroon's third goal, play from both sides was much more reserved. The result had already been decided. Cameroon have officially booked passage to the round-of-16 with the win.
In terms of the group A constellation, nothing official has been decided yet. Cameroon sit atop the group on six points and a plus four goal differential. Burkina Faso and Cape Verde can still either directly qualify in second place or advance to the knockout rounds as one of the best third-placed teams in the six groups of this 24-team-competition.
|Cape Verde Islands|
|1||Josimar José Évora Dias|
|2||Ianique dos Santos Tavares (C)|
|22||Jeffry Fortes ↪82|
|7||Patrick Andrade ↪73|
|18||Kenny Rocha Santos|
|16||Dylan Tavares ↪69|
|8||Lisandro Semedo ↩82|
|20||Ryan Mendes ↩73|
|25||Willy Semedo ↩69|
|27||Delmiro Évora Nascimento|
|6||Marco Paulo da Silva Soares|
|26||Erikson Spinola Lima|
|14||Issoufou Dayo (C)|
|20||Gustavo Sangaré ↪69|
|21||Cyrille Bayala ↪78|
|19||Hassane Bandé ⚽ ↪90|
|15||Abdoul Fessal Tapsoba ↪69|
|2||Djibril Cheick Ouattara|
|8||Dramane Nikiema ↩90|
|11||Mohamed Konaté ↩78|
|17||Zakaria Sanogo ↩69|
|13||Somgogna Hermann Nikiema|
|18||I. Ouedraogo ↩69|
|26||Kouame Jean Fiacre Botue|