|semi-finals: Cameroon -
Tunisia 3 : 0
This was the preview before
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
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.
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,
-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
-('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
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.
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)
-('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
-('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
-('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.