Egypt, Nigeria advance to semis

AP , LUBANGO, ANGOLA

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 - Page 20

Two-time defending champion Egypt will play Algeria, while Nigeria will take on Ghana in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations tomorrow.

Egypt beat 10-man Cameroon 3-1 in extra time on Monday to set up a repeat of the playoff match in November in which Algeria triumphed to book its place at the World Cup finals in South Africa in June.

Two-time champions Nigeria reached the semis by beating Zambia 5-4 on penalties after the game was scoreless after extra time.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama scored the decisive penalty for Nigeria after Thomas Nyirenda had missed for Zambia.

“It was always going to be difficult against Zambia,” Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu said. “We were able to use our experience to win this game.”

The result was hard on Zambia, which had played a near-perfect game but spurned several chances to take the lead.

Earlier on Monday, six-time champions Egypt dashed Cameroon’s hopes of earning a fifth continental crown with a thrilling come from behind win.

Achille Emana grabbed the opening goal for Cameroon in the 28th, curling in a corner that took a slight deflection off Ahmed Hassan.

The lead didn’t last long as Hassan made up for his mistake nine minutes later, beating goalkeeper Carlos Kameni with a long range drive.

Mohamed Gedo gave Egypt the lead in the second minute of extra time, scoring past a bewildered Kameni following a misplaced backpass by Geremi.

Hassan’s third was not without controversy. He powered a free kick from 25m, forcing a diving save from Kameni but the ball came back off the underside of the crossbar.

South African referee Jerome Damon awarded the goal even though television replays showed the ball had not crossed the line.

Algeria clinched its berth for the World Cup with an upset win over Egypt in a playoff match in Khartoum, Sudan late last year.

An earlier World Cup group match between the two sides in Cairo was marred by fan violence, with Egyptian fans targeting a bus carrying Algerian players.

Three Algerian players were injured during the disturbances.