Cameroon edge Tunisia thriller
Mbia brace sets up semi-final showdown with hosts
Last Updated: 04/02/08 10:56pm
Stephane Mbia scored twice as Cameroon beat Tunisia 3-2 in extra-time in an engrossing quarter-final in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cameroon raced into a two-goal lead through Mbia and Geremi before Chaouki Ben Saada fired Tunisia back into the game.
Yacini Chikhaoui sent the match into extra-time before Mbia scored again to secure a semi-final date with hosts Ghana.
Cameroon could have been ahead as early as the fifth minute when Jean Makoun headed wide at the far post from Geremi's deep cross.
Geremi then gifted Chikhaoui a chance on 10 minutes after being robbed of possession, with the Tunisian forcing a fine save out of Carlos Kameni after bursting into the box.
A mistake from Tunisia keeper Hamdi Kasraoui handed Cameroon the lead on 19 minutes as he missed Alexandre Song's cross and Mbia headed in at the far post.
But there was nothing Kasraoui could do about the Indomitable Lions' second goal on 27 minutes as Geremi curled a superb 25-yard free-kick over the wall and inside the post.
Tunisia responded in stunning fashion, pulling one back on 35 minutes through Ben Saada's powerfully-struck free-kick with his left foot from 25 yards.
The 2004 winners were almost level before half-time when the crossbar and Kameni came to Cameroon's rescue.
Francileudo dos Santos' thumping shot thundered back off the bar to the edge of the area for Ben Saada to drill first time, only for Kameni to scramble back on to his line to save.
Chances were more scarce in the second period, although the tournament's all-time leading scorer Samuel Eto'o saw his control let him down when he threatened to burst clear.
Tunisia equalised nine minutes from time when Sabeur Ben Fredj stole the ball off the dawdling Mohammadou Idrissou and set up Chikhaoui to sweep home from just inside the box.
Cameroon were back in front just two minutes into extra-time when Geremi's long throw-in was flicked on by substitute Joel Epalle and Mbia swivelled to fire a shot inside the post.
Mbia narrowly wide as he sniffed a hat-trick, and Eto'o was fortunate not to be sent off for a butt as Cameroon hung on.
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