Cameroon hopes fading after home draw with Senegal
A last-minute penalty miss by Samuel Eto’o left Cameroon with
little hope of playing in the 2012 African Cup of Nations following
a 0-0 home draw with Senegal on Saturday.
The Cameroon captain’s injury-time spot-kick hit the crossbar,
denying the four-time African champion a precious victory in its
Elsewhere, Uganda and Burkina Faso closed in on next year’s
African championship after both teams secured solid victories.
Uganda beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 to edge closer to its first Cup of
Nations since 1978, when it lost in the final. Burkina Faso stayed
on course for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea with a 4-1 hammering of
Morocco routed north African rival Algeria 4-0 in the most
one-sided of the continent’s six qualifiers on Saturday.
Goals from Mehdi Benatia and Marouane Chamakh in the first half
and Yousouff Hadji and Oussama Assaidi after the break broke open
Group D for the Moroccans. All four teams had been locked on four
points before the match.
Also, Zambia beat Mozambique 3-0 and Sierra Leone edged Niger
1-0 to give it an outside chance of qualifying in a group
containing heavyweights South Africa and Egypt.
On Friday, midfielder Michael Essien made his first
international appearance since January 2010 as Ghana stayed
unbeaten in four games with a 3-1 win over Republic of Congo.
A desperate Cameroon is five points behind Group E leader
Senegal and automatic passage to the Cup of Nations with just two
games to play after another disappointing result for the
Indomitable Lions, who have won just one of four qualifiers. Fans
protested against the team after the match and had to be dispersed
Cameroon dominated in Yaounde but couldn’t beat Senegal
goalkeeper Bouna Coulibaly and Eto’o’s late miss put one of African
football’s powerhouses on the brink of missing the continent’s top
tournament for just the second time in 30 years.
”We are in a very unfortunate position,” said midfielder
Stephane Mbia, with Cameroon now needing to win both of its final
qualifiers – against Mauritius and Congo – and hope other results
go its way to claim an unlikely automatic place.
It is also well off the pace in the race for one of the two best
second-place spots in the 11-group qualifying competition.
Police used water cannons outside Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium to
disperse over a thousand disgruntled supporters after they
prevented the Cameroon team bus from leaving the ground, blaming
captain Eto’o for the team’s struggles.
Uganda opened a six-point lead in Group J with goals from
Godfrey Walusimbi in the 36th minute and Geoffrey Massa in the 56th
at Mandela Stadium in Kampala. The Cranes are still to concede a
goal in qualifying to control the group ahead of Kenya, which plays
away at Angola on Sunday.
”It was a difficult match but the boys kept their composure and
scored at the right time,” Uganda’s Scottish coach Bobby
After its hammering of the home team in Namibia, Burkina Faso
needs just a point from its final match against Gambia to qualify
from the three-team Group F. It’s place could be sealed before
that, if Gambia fails to beat the Namibians in September.
Zambia moved to the top of Group C ahead of Libya’s meeting with
Comoros after a brace from Chris Katongo and a goal from Collins
Mbesuma capped a rampant second-half display at home to
Top-ranked African team Ghana was 2-0 up through second-half
goals by Isaac Vorsah and Prince Tagoe by the time Essien was
substituted in his first international in 16 months on Friday.
Matt Moussilou pulled one back for the 10-men Congolese before
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu’s long-range shot made it 3-1 to the 2010
African Cup finalist and World Cup quarterfinalist.
”It was a great second half performance,” Ghana coach Goran
Stevanovic said. ”I am satisfied.”
Ghana is three points clear of Sudan in Group I, having played a
AP writer Emmanuel Tumanjong in Yaounde, Cameroon contributed to
Gerald Imray can be reached at