Mon, Jan 30, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Cameroon edge Senegal, Burkina Faso tan Tunisia


Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa, left, and defender Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, second right, battle for the ball with Senegal forward Mame Biram Diouf, right, in their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final in Franceville, Gabon, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Sadio Mane’s decisive penalty miss allowed Cameroon to knock fancied Senegal out of the Africa Cup of Nations in the quarter-finals on Saturday and join Burkina Faso in the last four.

Cameroon beat Senegal 5-4 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes in Franceville, Gabon, in the day’s second game following a 2-0 win for Burkina Faso against Tunisia in Libreville earlier.

Liverpool star Mane was the only player to miss from the spot in the shoot-out in Franceville, with Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa saving his effort.

Vincent Aboubakar then stepped up to score and take the Indomitable Lions through to the last four at the expense of a Senegal side who were one of the favorites going into the tournament.

Cameroon, who also beat Senegal on penalties in the final of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, can now look forward to a semi-final tie against either the Democratic Republic of the Congo or Ghana in Franceville on Thursday.

It is the first time Cameroon have reached the last four since 2008, when they lost to Egypt in the final in Ghana.

“We have the possibility to write a beautiful page in our history and we do not want to stop here,” Cameroon captain Benjamin Moukandjo told Canal Plus Afrique. “We’re going one game at a time. We have a semi-final to play and whoever it is against we hope it will be as beautiful as this.”

Senegal had enjoyed the better of the chances, but could not find a way past Ondoa, who was in inspired form.

“Our performance was good. We tried to play football against a side who were well-organized and got men behind the ball,” said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, who had missed the crucial penalty when the Lions of Teranga lost the 2002 final. “We know about penalties. It comes down to luck. They won it and I wish them good luck.”

Nobody had expected Cameroon go far after their buildup, which was marred by the refusal of several key players to accept call-ups.

Few tipped Burkina Faso to go very far either, but the 2013 runners-up secured their place in the last four by getting the better of Tunisia with two late goals.

The Stallions had looked the more dangerous side throughout but it took the late introduction of Aristide Bance on 76 minutes to make the difference.

Within five minutes Bance broke the deadlock in front of a sparse crowd in Libreville by slamming the ball into the net after a free-kick was pushed into his path just outside the penalty area.

Prejuce Nakoulma doubled the lead on 84 minutes through a breakaway goal and Burkina Faso next meet Egypt or Morocco at the same venue on Wednesday.

“We produced high-level football,” Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte said. “There was quality and confidence in our performance. The dream is to do better than in 2013, but it will not be easy.”

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