Cameroon and Zambia march on

Indomitable Lions salvage Tunisia draw to join Zambia in Africa Cup of Nations quarters.

    Eto'o and Mohamadou Idrissou celebrate as Cameroon set up an Egypt showdown  [AFP]
    Cameroon substitute Achille Webo set up two goals as the Indomitable Lions sealed a 2-2 draw against Tunisia to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations last eight.

    In another down-to-the-wire Group D clash, Zambia derailed the Cup hopes of Gabon, qualifying for the quarters for the first time in 14 years with a 2-1 victory in Benguela.

    Webo, who came on as a second-half replacement for Jean Makoun in Lubango, provided Samuel Eto'o and Landry Nguemo with neat back passes as Cameroon twice came from behind to finish second in the group.

    Their next match is against champions Egypt, who beat them in the 2008 final, in Benguela, while Zambia, who topped the group on goal difference, will face Nigeria in Lubango.

    Early lead

    Tunisia, who drew their three group games, claimed a spectacular early lead in the first minute with a goal from Amine Chermiti and then again took the lead in the 63rd when defender Aurelien Chedjou netted into his own goal.

    Veteran Rigobert Song, whose blunders cost Cameroon two goals in their first two games, started on the bench but that did not prevent the Indomitable Lions from conceding the early goal.

    The central defence was caught napping when striker Chermiti connected with a Khaled Souissi cross to head home after 50 seconds.

    Cameroon piled on the pressure but could not penetrate Tunisia's back four.

    Tunisia keeper Aymen Mathlouthi was lucky to escape a straight red card after denying Eto'o a clear chance when he handled the ball just outside the box on the half hour.

    Tunisia had another chance shortly before half-time when Yassine Mikari collected a through pass from Issam Jomaa but his shot went just wide.

    Webo was brought on just after the break to replace midfielder Jean Makoun and the move immediately paid off as the Mallorca striker's back pass found Eto'o, who coolly slotted home to level the contest in the 47th.

    Centre back Chedjou, however, lobbed his own keeper in an attempt to clear a Mikari cross as Tunisia regained the lead in the 63rd minute.

    One minute later, Nguemo equalised for Cameroon when he fired past Mathlouthi from another Webo back pass.

    Tunisia finished with 10 men after defender Ammar Jemel was sent off for a second bookable offence.

    Zambia through

    Goals in either half from Rainford Kalaba and the Chinese-based James Chamanga earned Herve Renard's Zambian side a place in the quarter-finals.

    Zambia came out firing in Benguela.

    On 11 minutes Zambia had their first major opportunity after a neat move involving Felix Katongo and Jacob Mulenga only for the Utrecht striker to shoot high over the woodwork.

    Zambia topped the group on goal difference after the win over Gabon [AFP]
    The Gabon defence was put under pressure for the first real time in the tournament as Zambia maintained their energetic start.

    Zambia's South Africa-based Felix Katongo, brother of captain Chris Katonga, wasted another opportunity when he scuffed the ball from in front of goal.

    Zambia finally made their breakthrough in the 28th minute when defender Kampamba slid the ball upfield to Kalaba and the Uniao Leiria midfielder knocked the ball from the left of the box past the Gabon keeper Ebang Ovono.

    That was the first goal Gabon had conceded since arriving in Angola.

    At half-time Tunisia lead Cameroon 1-0 in Lubango, and it looked to be the Tunisians and Zambia who were set to march on.

    But a Cameroon leveller shortly after the break put them in a three way tie with Zambia and Gabon on four points, with Gabon the ones to miss out.

    Poor defending cost Zambia's second goal with Mulenga fighting off Gabon defender Moise Brou to cross the ball from the near post to the waiting Chamanga with the forward tapping in to an open goal.

    Zambia had to survive a nervous final eight minutes after Gabon got back into the match when Hull City striker Cousin floated in a high ball from the left flank for substitute Fabrice do Marcolino to shoot past Ovono.

    Gabon, Cameroon and Zambia all finished on four points, with Zambia winning a mini-league between them on goals scored (4), ahead of Cameroon (3) and Gabon (2).

    SOURCE: Agencies


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