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Bulls Abroad: Cameroon and Guinea draw 1-1 in AFCON 2015; Ambroise Oyongo starts, but does not finish

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A 1-1 draw in Group D of AFCON 2015? There has literally been no other result in the group yet.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

No late heroics from Ambroise Oyongo in this one; in fact, the New York Red Bulls' rising star watched the last 30 minutes or so of Cameroon's 1-1 draw with Guinea from the bench.

Coach Volker Finke apparently felt the need for greater defensive solidity as the second half progressed, yanking Oyongo in the 61st minute in favor of 20-year-old defender Jerome Guihoata, who plays his club football for Valenciennes in France. The move will not have been unfamiliar to RBNY fans: Oyongo is not (yet) a lock-down defender.

Whether the tactical switch means the young Red Bull will lose his place in the starting lineup is an open question. Finke will need his team to be at its attacking best for its final group stage game if Cameroon is to be certain of a place in the next round. The other Group D match - Ivory Coast vs. Mali - also ended 1-1. If you are one of the few people on the planet who didn't see what Wilfried Bony did in that game, here's a chance to catch up.

All four teams in the group are tied on points, goals scored, goals conceded and goal difference after two rounds. The knockout stage has started in Group D: it's win-or-go-home time for all four squads. (And if we get another round of 1-1 draws, it will be drawing-of-lots time, which is not going to please anyone.)

Against Guinea, Cameroon started brightly, and broke through in the 13th minute. Benjamin Moukandjo skipped a low corner to the near post, Aurelian Chedjou's awkward attempt to get a foot on the ball as it passed him appeared to distract 'keeper Naby Yattara, and the ball bounced fortuitously into the net.

But Guinea had an equalizer before half-time. In the 42nd minute, Ibrahima Traore received the ball with his back to goal, turned into a cluster of Cameroon players (Oyongo included) to find they had left a clear channel open - he lashed a left-footed shot past Lions' 'keeper Fabrice Ondoa from the edge of the box.

All square at half-time, and it stayed that way for the rest of the match. Cameroon captain Stephane Mbia missed the target with a free header near the end of the game; Oyongo's replacement, Guihoata was perhaps fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty in stoppage time.

Cameroon drew all of its pre-tournament warm-ups, and is now on a streak of four consecutive 1-1 draws in international play. The game before the streak started was the final match of qualifying for this tournament, against the Indomitable Lions next AFCON opponent, Ivory Coast. It finished 0-0.

The Lions need a win against a more experienced and arguably more talented opponent. If he gets on the field, the January 28 conclusion of Cameroon's AFCON 2015 group stage will surely be the biggest game of Ambroise Oyongo's career to date.