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THE SHOT THAT PASSED RIGHT THROUGH THE NET    African Cup Of Nations 2000  JAN 22 - FEB 13  Nigeria/Ghana 
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Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
3rd place
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Cameroon - Côte d'Ivoire 

Before the match 
Cameroon looked strong in their first match against Ghana but wasted the opportunity for a dream start. They are favorites here but they have to be careful: Losing this one could be dangerous. A draw in the final match between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire could lock them out with any chance. A draw in this Cameroon - Côte d'Ivoire match would serve them fine - then they could qualify with a victory over Togo.  
Côte d'Ivoire were a disappointment in their first match. Beginning with a neat looking game, they completely let down after scoring the lead. So their prospects are still quite unclear. They cannot become eliminated in this match but losing would mean they will have to defeat Ghana in the final game by a considerable margin. Sounds like a draw best for both? 
No team can either be eliminated or advance formally. 
Ghana  2 3-1 4
Cameroon  1 1-1 1
Côte d'Ivoire  1 1-1 1
Togo  2 1-3 1
> Ghana - Cameroon match report 
> Côte d'Ivoire - Togo match report 

Cameroon: 1-Boukar Alioum; 6-Pierre Njanka, 5-Raymond Kalla, 4-Rigobert Song, 3-Pierre Wome; 8-Geremi Fotso Njitap, 12- Laurent Mayer, 17-Marc-Vivien Foe, 20-Salomon Olembe; 9-Samuel Eto'o, 10-Patrick Mbome  
Ivory Coast: 1-Alain Gouamene; 6-Olivier Tebily, 17-Cyrille Domoraud, 19-Dominique Sam Abouo; 2-Lassina Dao, 4-Lassina Diabate, 13-Aliou Siby Badra, 14-Tchiressoa Guel, 21-Donald- Olivier Sie; 18-Charles Dago, 10-Ibrahima Bakayoko 
Referee: Mourad Daami (TUN) 
Ass. Referees: Tawfik Adjengi (TUN) & Farag Wagih (EGY) 
Reserve referee: Ali Bujsaim (UAE) 

1st half 
-('9) Cameroon has the first goal scene, a breakthrough on the right side and a low pass into the middle is deflected to a corner 
-('15) Cameroon dominate up to here but now a minor dangerous Guel distance shot 
-('17) Caeroon: Gouamene (the Ivorian keeper) drops the ball but Mboma is surprised and kicks over the crossbar
-('24) Cameroon: Geremi Njitap breaks through on the right side, not the first time, and Côte d'Ivoire has some problems to clear the balls. 
also: a Wome solorun and a shot hitting the soutside of the net.
-('25) Côte d'Ivoire: Bakayoko shot far wide, like Foe on the other side 
-('29) Cameroon: again Geremi Njitap is the initial player, his high ball finds the Ivorian defence sleeping and Gouamene alone against two players. He can save the header but #5Kalla can convert the rebounding ball with his sole (a bit controversial - could have been called dangerous play as well) - 1:0 
-('34) Côte d'Ivore try to answer but Alioum does make no mistake 
-('41) Cameroon: Mboma  by a smart move breaks through and gets brought down, 17 meters to the goal - free kick from half left side: but freekick (Geremi Njitap?) is harmless 
-('injury time) Cameroon: a succession of won challenges brings suddenly Meyer free running down the right side and passing in the right moment into the middle. Eto'o has only to put his foot in and scores with a low ball - 2:0 

Halftime - 2:0 
The style of playing of the two teams is not so much different. This makes the match fragmented by a lot of challenges it seems. Longer passing sequences not often occur. (Especially Ivorian) Players hold the ball for several touches first. Cameroon with their physically strong players has the upper hand here. It looks very unlikely that Côte d'Ivoire could come back. They are quite disappointing. Cameroon impresses by their individual strengths.  

2nd half 
Côte d'Ivoire starts the second half attacking determined but yet there is always a defender having the last word 
-('54) CIV: gangerous attack along the right wing - when the ball is played into the middle SOng seems to help himself with a push against Bakayoko who otherwise might have been in scoring position 
-('59) Cameroon: a nice one-two on the right side sets Njitap free but Gouamene is out of the goal in time 
challenges becoming more nasty as frustratn grows 
-('63) Camerroon superb solo run by #11 Pius Ndiefi on the right wing he sets up Mboma for whom it had been an easy goal if not the ball had bounced on the ground short before he hit it. So it went across the bar 
-('71) Cameroon: Mboma with another inaccurate attempt, this time wide right 
-(''75) Cameroon: Gouamene saves a sharp shot by Foe 
-('77) CIV: nice solo run by Kalou but his shot is wide 
-('80) Cameroon: Mboma header is saved 
-('90) Ivorian defenders losing all concentration but Cameroon cannot profit 
--('injury time) finally Mboma makes up for all his attempts with a beautiful diagonal shot from 20 meters into the left corner of the net (no, it did not pass through) - 3:0  

Final result - 3:0 
A crucial 3rd goal crowned the dominance of Cameroon. Côte d'Ivoire had no chance.  
Crucial? It means that Côte d'Ivoire now has to beat Ghana by three goals to qualify for the quarterfinals. This seems unlikely. The Ivorians look uninspired like 1996.  
Also it means Cameroon can now afford a loss by two goals against Togo, even this sounds unlikely, too. In this form Cameroon is a strong candidate for semi-finals. 
Cameroon  2 4-1 4
Ghana 2 3-1 4
Togo 2 1-3 1
Côte d'Ivoire  2 1-4 1

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