AFCON star avoids red for horror mid-air challenge 40 seconds into Cameroon game

Burkina Faso almost had a man sent off after just 40 seconds in the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Les Etalons met tournament hosts Cameroon in the first match of the competition – and things couldn't have got off to a more dramatic start.

With just 40 seconds on the clock, Burkina Faso defender Steeve Yago went flying into a remarkable challenge on Collins Fai.

The two-footed mid-air tackle appeared to catch Fai right where it hurts as he went rolling across the turf in absolute agony.

Referee Mustapha Ghorbal instantly blew for a foul, but to the surprise of many, didn't reach for a red card.

Instead, the whistler produced a yellow card for a challenge that might leave Fai worrying whether he'll be able to have children.

Not long after, Yago had another reason to celebrate as Burkina Faso broke the deadlock on 24 minutes.

Gustavo Sangare’s impressive volley put the underdogs 1-0 up, but their lead did not last long.

Should Steeve Yago have been sent off for this challenge? Let us know in the comments section.

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Five minutes before half-time, Cameroon were awarded a penalty after more questionable defending from Burkina Faso.

Former Porto star Vincent Aboubakar duly stepped up and converted from 12 yards to draw Toni Conceicao's side level.

Cameroon then took the lead eight minutes later after Issoufou Dayo made another reckless challenge inside the box.

Aboubakar stepped up and once again he made no mistake as the Indomitable Lions went in with a 2-1 lead.

And that's how it stayed as the tournament hosts picked up their first win of the competition to go top of Group A.

Despite Cameroon's win, Fai's challenge early on in the contest dominated the discussion on social media.

One person said: "What the hell was that tackle in the Cameroon game."

Someone else joked: "Just turned on #CMRBFA … booked after 40 whole seconds. I mean he got the balls didn’t he."

While a third person added: "Bruh, if you have players at AFCON, start praying man. 33 seconds in…"

Aston Villa's Bertrand Traore, who set up Burkina Faso's goal, played 86 minutes of the contest.

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