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Cameroon beat Tunisia to reach Brazil

Indomitable Lions keep up their World Cup habit as they qualify for an African-record seventh time after second leg.

Last updated: 17 Nov 2013 18:41
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No African team has qualified for the World Cup more often than Cameroon, who reached the quarters in 1990 [AFP]

Two second half goals from Jean Makoun saw Cameroon to a comfortable 4-1 win over Tunisia to book their place in the World Cup finals for an African record seventh time.

In the Yaounde sunshine on Sunday, Cameroon wasted no time in taking the advantage after last month's goalless first leg in Rades.

There were just three minutes on the clock when Pierre Webo pounced on a defensive mix-up by the Tunisians and fired across goal, with the ball bouncing in off the post.

But it took a majestic goal on the half-hour by Benjamin Moukandjo to give the Indomitable Lions breathing space as Tunisia paid the price for sitting back and letting the home side carry the game to them.

Moukandjo, brought in to add width and pace on the left, produced just that, collecting the ball and with a burst of speed, glided through three defenders and fired an unstoppable shot past Moez Ben Charifa from the edge of the area.

But his celebrations, which saw him rip off his shirt and race into the crowd, brought him a booking.

There seemed no way back for Tunisia and they did nothing in the first half to test Charles Itandje in the Cameroon goal, whose heroics in Rades set them up for the second leg.

The visitors' only significant foray forward saw Wissem Ben Yahia swing in a free-kick from the right side only for the unmarked Syam Ben Youssef at the back post to head over with the goal at his mercy.

Tunsia's Dutch coach Ruud Krol, who was drafted in at the last minute to fire up the team for the return leg, appeared to have pulled off a masterstroke by throwing on striker Ahmed Akaichi as a half-time substitute for Amine Chermiti.

Just four minutes into the half Akaichi produced a perfect finish, chasing a long through ball and powering a first-time volley beyond the reach of Itandje from the edge of the area.

But Makoun restored the Lions' two-goal advantage, rising above the defence to head home Benoit Assou-Ekotto's corner in the 65th minute.

Three minutes from time Samuel Eto'o, playing on the right wing rather than his usual centre forward role, hit the upright and Makoun reacted quickest to tuck away the rebound for Cameroon's fourth.

They join the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, who both qualified on Saturday, as African representatives in Brazil with two more places to be decided on Tuesday.

Cameroon were the first side from the continent to reach the quarter-finals when the tournament was staged in Italy in 1990.

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