Libya bow out
Ihaab's double not enough to earn last-eight place
Last Updated: January 29, 2012 8:41pm
Marcos Paqueta: Knocked out at group stages despite victory
Libya kept their side of the bargain in the attempt to reach the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations after defeating Senegal, but they were left disappointed by results elsewhere.
Marcos Paqueta's men needed to win their Group A game and hope Equatorial Guinea would beat Zambia and, although Al Busaifi Ihaab's double earned a 2-1 victory, Zambia's 1-0 win ensured it was nothing more than a proud farewell for Libya.
They and Senegal - who equalised on the night through Deme N'Diaye - are both now out, with much-fancied Senegal ending without picking up a single point.
Knowing that they needed to first and foremost take care of their own result, Libya started well and got off to the perfect start, opening the scoring in the fifth minute.
A jinking run from Admed Saad created some space and, after he played a reverse pass, Ihaab was on hand to do the rest from just inside the area.
The lead was shortlived, though, with N'Diaye getting ahead of his front-post marker to nod home Mamadou Niang's ninth-minute corner.
Niang himself then blazed over from distance, with Jamal Mohamed doing the same at the other end, before Senegal's Souleymane Camara saw his close-range hit brilliantly kept out by Samir Abod.
Camara was making a real nuisance of himself and his cross then found Pape Malickou Diakhate, but his header was well saved by Abod.
That was the last meaningful action of the first half and the last real incident until the hour mark, which saw Ahmed Zuway's strike blocked by Kader Mangane as Libya hunted a second.
That could have come when Mohamed El Moghrabi's corner found Abdalah Al Sherif, only for him to miss the target, before Mangane got in the way of another Zuway effort.
Newcastle-bound Papiss Cisse then swung a shot over the bar, before Ali Samala went close to scoring for Libya; his header being kept out by Khadim N'Diaye.
A second Libyan goal did arrive, though, and when it did, with six minutes remaining, it was a memorable one.
Zuway cushioned a long ball into the path of the onrushing Ihaab and he spectacularly volleyed it into the bottom corner.
Cisse tried his best to get Senegal level for a second time just after, but time was not on their side as Libya held on.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D
African Cup of Nations
Ghana international Asamoah Gyan has apologised for missing a penalty in their Africa Cup of Nations exit to Zambia.
Ghana edged minnows Botswana 1-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations Group D opener, as captain John Mensah scored and was sent off.
A goal in each half was enough to see Tunisia go joint top of Group C as they saw off North African rivals Morocco 2-1 on Monday.
- Winning start for Gabon
- Senegal shocked by Zambia
- Dream start for co-hosts
- AFCON preview
- AFCON Profile: Eq. Guinea
- AFCON Profile: Mali
- AFCON Profile: Ghana
- AFCON Profile: Morocco
- AFCON Profile: Burkina Faso
- AFCON Profile: Botswana
- AFCON Profile: Zambia
- AFCON Profile: Ivory Coast
- AFCON Profile: Niger
- AFCON Profile: Libya
- AFCON Profile: Sudan
- AFCON profile: Senegal
- AFCON Profile: Gabon