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2014 African World Cup Qualifiers: Cameroon book ticket to Brazil
A packed Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé was the stage of today’s play-off 2nd leg encounter between Cameroon and Tunisia. After a stalemate in Tunis, this match would decide once and for all the fate of the Indomitable Lions and the Eagles of Carthage. And straight away, the home team showed they weren’t playing around.
In the 3rd minute, and whilst the world was waiting for the satellite feed to be established properly, Pierre Webó scored the first for Cameroon. Karim Haggui took too long to get rid of the ball, Webó dispossessed him and from a tight angle beat a wrong-footed Moez Ben Cherifia, sending the fans into a frenzy very early on into the match.
The Cameroonians were all over the Tunisians, attacking left and right and soon enough, the second goal arrived. In the 30th minute, Benjamin Moukandjo glided past 3 defenders and then took a shot from the edge of the box, passing through Ben Cherifia, who was once again caught wrong-footed and Cameroon found themselves 2-0 up. Just before the break, Tunisia had their best chance of the first half, when Syam Ben Youssef headed the ball inches over the bar, following a corner.
In the second period, Ruud Krol brought on Fabien Camus and Ahmed Akaichi, and it was the latter who would give Tunisia a hope of qualifying. A lovely chip from the center circle found Akaichi coming from behind the Cameroon defense and with a first-touch shot, the ball hit the back of Charles Itandje’s goal, making the 2-1 and meaning that another goal would put Tunisia in Brazil.
It was not to be, however, as Jean II Makoun scored the 3-1 in the 66th minute. The corner from the right hand side found the relatively small Makoun completely unmarked at the near post and a simple header gave the Lions the breather they were looking for.
From that point on, Tunisia failed to regain control of the game and Moukandjo nearly scored his brace, but both his shots were sent to Ben Cherifia and the stands, respectively.
In the 86th minute, the final blow for the Eagles. A well executed offensive manoeuvre by Cameroon saw Eric Choupo-Moting’s shot hit the post and in the rebound, Makoun simply had to get the defender and Ben Cherifia out of the way and then tap the ball into the goal.
4-1 was the final score in Yaoundé. For the 6th time in the last 7 World Cups, Cameroon will be a part of the action, whilst Tunisia will have some thinking to do, especially when it comes to the managerial position.
On Tuesday, Egypt will attempt a miracle, as they try to turn a 5-goal deficit into their favour, and the cauldron of Bilda will host the match between Algeria and Burkina Faso, a game where the Burquinabé have the advantage and may qualify for a World Cup for the first time.