Monday 18 November 2019

Keeper on spot to help Nigeria soar

African Cup of nations

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama netted the winning spot-kick as Nigeria beat Zambia 5-4 in a penalty shootout to reach the semi-finals.

Enyeama had earlier saved Thomas Nyirenda's penalty.

The game had ended goalless after extra-time. Nigeria will meet Ghana on Thursday in Luanda for a place in Sunday's final, while holders Egypt face Algeria.

Nigeria had Onyekachi Apam sent off in extra-time for a second booking but held on to force the shootout.

Zambia keeper Kennedy Mweene also scored in the shoot-out but his effort was in vain as Enyeama stepped up next to win the game.

Earlier, Egypt overcame Cameroon 3-1 after extra-time in a controversial clash in Benguela.

Two goals in the first five minutes of added-time put Egypt through, but Cameroon were furious about Egypt's third goal by Ahmed Hassan, with television replays clearly showing the ball had not crossed the line.

Midfielder Hassan, winning a record 170th cap, had already scored an own-goal to put Cameroon ahead on 26 minutes, and then hit the target at the right end to pull his side level with a powerful long-range strike before half-time.

The second half failed to produce a goal and the tie went to extra time. Substitute Mohamed Gedo capitalised on a horrendous back-pass from Newcastle midfielder Geremi to put the Egyptians ahead after 92 minutes, before Hassan's controversial strike three minutes later.

Paul Le Guen's Indomitable Lions had Aurelien Chedjou sent off for bringing down Gedo in the second period of added time as they desperately chased a way back into the game but it was not to be, and Egypt went through to Thursday's semi-final against Algeria, again in Benguela.

Security will be tightened for that game, a rematch of last November's contentious play-off for a World Cup place. Algeria prevailed 1-0 on that occasion and will hope for a similar display this week as they bid for a first appearance in the final since 1990.

Irish Independent

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