Hosts Cameroon became the fourth nation to book their place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after beating 10-man Comoros 2-1 on Monday night.
The Indomitable Lions, who have a 100% record so far, were favourites to win the clash, and their work was made easier as they faced a Comoros side that had no recognisable goalkeeper after they missed out due to injuries and Covid-19.
In their absence, left-back Chaker Alhadhur started between the posts in arguably their biggest game ever.
Due to Covid-19 and injuries, Comoros had no recognisable goalkeeper in their #AFCON2021 match against Cameroon, forcing left-back Chaker Alhadhur to start in goal.— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) January 24, 2022
What. A. Performance! pic.twitter.com/RE82GNsgfK
The Islanders got off to a poor start as Nadjim Abdou was shown a straight for an overly aggressive challenge in the seventh minute, leaving his side with a mountain to climb.
With their numerical advantage, Cameroon dominated the proceedings, with Vincent Aboubakar, in particular, a thorn in Comoros' defense.
The striker wasted a chance to give Cameron the lead in the 13th minute as he sent a rebound from just outside of the box narrowly wide of the left post.
The hosts had to wait until the 29th minute for the first goal, and it arrived in style as the lively Aboubakar played a short, square pass into the path of Ekambi (Cameroon), who bent a shot straight into the bottom left corner to make.
Comoros were not going down without a fight and nearly equalised two minutes later after a sweet pass found Ahmed Mogni on the edge of the box, and he drilled the ball towards the bottom right corner, forcing Andre Onana into a reflective stunning save.
El Fardou Ben then picked up the rebound and tried to catch Onana off-guard, but the keeper was equal to the task, making yet another save.
Aboubakar came close to doubling Cameron's lead early in the second half, but Chaker in goal showed good reflexes as he made a good block.;
He then made a double save a few minutes later, first denying Aboubakar in a one-one-one before pushing a Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu rebound wide.
Aboubakar then thought he had finally made it 2-0 for the hosts in the 66th minute, but his effort was ruled out for offside in the build-up.
The Al-Nassr striker finally got his goal in the 70th minute after he broke free of his man to easily beat the goalie for a 2-0 lead.
Comoros came close to finding the back of the net on a number of occasions but were denied by desperate defending and good goalkeeping.
They finally managed to find their goal in the 80th minute as Youssouf M'Changama unleashed a long-range freekick that nestled in the top corner, giving Onana no chance.
It proved to be the last goal of the match as Cameroon booked their place in the last eight, joining Gambia, Burkina Faso, and Tunisia.