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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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semi-finals: Cameroon - Tunisia   3 : 0 

This was the preview before the match: 
labelled as 'clash-of-styles' and so something like a repeat of the Algeria game for Cameroon.  
On one side monstrous individuals, strong in technique, physis, and confidence. They are playing at clubs with most prominent names all over Europe, among them Liverpool or Real Madrid.  
On the other side a teamwork unit for which this competition really is the great thing, 19 of 22 players are Africa based: they all play at Tunisia. 
Cameroon looked so strong in the matches played, but they only once managed to maintain the pressure for 90 minutes on their opponents: when they beat the Côte d'Ivoire 3:0. In the period when they play at their limits they are hard to beat, they dominate the match with a clear superiority in one against one challenges. But here lies a possible problem factor: Cameroon has been critisized for rough and sometimes late tackling and at a World Cup they probably would not have finished the Algeria match with 11 men. This public discussion will be in the heads of all 22 players and the referee, so it could become a possible factor and Cameroon might have to face a red card in this match. The tactically smart Tunisians will try to find measures against the physical style, possible injuries or intimidation. Expect them to play a lot one against one targeting yellow carded players, falling with cries, etc. 
Tunisia has been the subject of klischees after the quarter finals against Egypt. In this match they played very defensive, like in the old Kasperczak (coach 1994-1998) era. And they have an Italian coach who immediately got labelled the catenaccio tag after the match. This underrates the Tunisian flexibility completely. It was Scoglio (the new coach) who had abandoned the defensive style for a modern midfield pressure approach first, working with offside etc.. But this had failed resultwise against Nigeria. Nevertheless they played quite open in the second half of the Morocco match and invited the opposite side for a lot of counter attacks. Like also Congo had in the third match. 
But playing against the Egypts this tactics would have meant suicide. If Egypt once had taken the lead they would have been almost impossible to beat. So the smart Tunisians did was was necessary: sut out the opponent and score by a standard. 
The Tunisians can adapt a lot of tactical ideas, so if Cameroon really expects to face the same Tunisian look as in the Egypt game they will experience a surprise. 
The biggest problem for Tunisia: their commitment. Sometimes it looks as if the greatness of meaning of the matches puts a heavy load on them, especially in finishing. Against Congo they were not able to score the crucial second goal, not even by a penalty. Probably none of the 11 players on the field would have managed this across the line. The Cameroon match might be a bit easier: They are outsiders and should have no fear of failure. 
Favorites: Cameroon 
> reports on the matches played before 

Cameroon - 1-Boukar Alioum; 4-Rigobert Song, 5-Raymond Kalla, 6-Pierre Njanka; 17-Marc-Vivien Foe, 8-Geremi Fotso Njitap, 12-Laurent Mayer, 20-Salomon Olembe, 7-Bernard Tchoutang; 10-Patrick Mboma, 9-Samuel Eto'o  
Tunisia - 1-Chokri El Ouaer; 2-Khaled Badra, 3-Sami Trabelsi, 15-Radji Jaidi, 17-Tarek Thabet; 14-Sitajeddine Chihi, 12-Raouf Bouazaine, 18-Meher Kanzari, 19-Hassan Gabsi 20-Zied Jaziri, 11-Adel Sellimi 
1st half:
-an embarassingly empty stadium - Ghana has turned its back on the Nations Cup 
-kickoff 1838h  (El OUaer had to change the shirt) 
-('2) huge opportunity for Tunisia: Bouazaine ball in from the left and the Sellimi header gets deflected and saved by Alioum 
shaky start for CAmeroon like in the ALgeria match 
-('4) Mboma shot from 17 meters gets deflected and misses goal by centimeters 
-('8) Cameroon: Foe free kick from far could be dangerous because of the ground but is easily saved by El Ouaer 
-('11) Tunisia: beautiful attack started on the right wing, but in the end Kanzari in the middle does not hit the ball full power and Alioum can dive into the corner and grab the ball 
-('13) Cameroon penetrate into the Tunisian penalty area by some neat passing but yet are stopped 
-('15) Tunisia: same story on the other side twice 
-('17) Tunisia: Bouazaine steals the ball but targets wide 
-('19) Tunisia: Kanzari: long ball on Jaziri who's cross gets headed by Sellimi - Alioum saves (also thanks to a defender who does not let Sellimi get off a cmore powerful attempt) 
-('23) Huge chance for Cameroon: free kick from the right and Mboma, totally unmarked has an easy header from 5 meters but it hits the legs of El Ouaer, who has not even time to react, and bounces out again. The rebounded ball is shot across the goal. 
-(26) Cameroon: Two scares for Cameroon after a corner involving high balls and some problem for Alioum to get the ball into his hands 
-('27) Cameroon: a long range shot by Olembe gets deflected by Tunisian keeper El Ouaer, touches the goalpost and goes out for a corner 
the match is very much alive and completely open 
-('29) Yellow card for Cameroon's Foe for a bad tempered looking kick into the legs of Kanzari 
-('31) Cameroon: the first of Germi Njitap's feared throw ins, defended succesfully 
-('32) Cameroon: one of Mboma's rockets from 25 meters but far too high 
it is not an easy match for the referee as the Cameroon defenders work with hands and Tunisian players fall easily (but no disputed scenes yet) 
-('41) Mboma sends Eto'o who penetrate into the penalty area from the left wing but his way is cut off by El Ouaer 
the last minutes have seen no clearcut chances but continuing attacks of both teams anyway. 
Tunisia a bit more drawn back now in the final minutes before the half. That was a mistake, because Cameroon can work their way through: 
-'(45) Cameroon: A Mboma shot is only denied the way into the goal by a defender's leg in the way while El Ouaer is already out of play 
-('injury time) Tunisia: a strange bouncing corner finds the head of Jairi but he misses the target close. That looked as if the keeper hada had no chance 

halftime 0:0 
most of the time a completely open match with both teams looking for the score and with some opportunities to do so. Only in the closing minutes Cameroon had some advantage. 

you want to know for which club Song played 1994? 
which shirt number he wore at USA at the World Cup? 
you wonder where Ayadi Hamrouni is disappeared or who won the penalty shoot out at the Amilcar Cabral Cup semi-finals 1979 between Mali and Guinea-Bissau? 
the author has just informed me that the new African Yearbook 2000 is out now 
(if you fill out the form, ask also for the 'History Of The African Nations Cup' which is scheduled to come out in March) 

2nd half: 
-('47) Mboma has some starnge problem - contact lenses? 
-('49) Cameroon: this time it is Wome (came in?) with a long throw in from the left side right into a players crowd in front of the ball. Mboma angles the ball, turns around and scores from less than 5 meters - 1:0 
why are those throw ins so dangerous? two reasons might be: they come with an unfamiliar curve and they come with lesss power. The second means theyy cannot easily get defended far away wby head so that you always have bouncing balls inside the penalty area with a lot of luring attackers around 
-('57) Cameroon now dangerous: A diagonal ball into the penalty area is not converted 
Will Cameroon have had more dangerous scooring weapons in the end? 
-('59) again Mboma wide 
-('60) Ali Zitouni comes in for Jaziri  
-('63) Cameroon: beautiful attack involvoing Olembe, Eto'o and a player on the right hand side, but no finishing 
-('64) Tunisia: now excitement on the other side 
-('65) Tunisia: #13 Bouazizi comes in for Kanzari 
-('65) Tunisia: Badra hits the outside of the net with a shot from half left, about 18 meters distance 
Rigobert Song tries to keep calm 
-('70'71)The Tunsians fight for every ball and stay in the Cameroon half 
-('73) Tunisia: #7 Mehdebi in for Sellimi 
no clearcut chances as Tunisian frustration grows 
-('83) Cameroon: beautifuly goal as Mboma? exploits the open tunsiain defence with a fine through ball on Eto'o who makes a perfect finish and leaves El Ouaer no chance - 2:0 
-('88) Cameroon: Mboma makes the triumph perfect as he surprises El Ouaer who expects a ball into the middle by a shot into the neaer corner from difficult angle from the right hand side - 3:0 
-('90) Cameroon: almost a fourth, but Mboma's casual lob is easily saved by El Ouaer 

final result  3:0 
Cameroon looked strong but not unbeatable. But to achieve the surprise Tunisia would have needed a first half goal. Here their finishing problems came into account. Torwards the end a possible fitness gap became apparent.  
The feared problems with refereeing concerning the Camerron style of tackling never played a role, as the match was fair and well conducted by the Arabian referee.  
The goal short after the half clearly did not harm the Cameroon confidence, too. They will be an exciting opponent for Nigeria in the finals on Sunday.

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