BENGUELA - Aided by a brace from skipper Ahmed Hassan, Egypt defeated 10-man Cameroon 3-1 after extra time yesterday in the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations at the Ombaka Stadium to set up a rematch against bitter regional rivals Algeria.
Egypt's prize is a mouth-watering rematch on Thursday against bitter rivals Algeria, who pipped the Egyptians to a World Cup ticket in dramatic circumstances in November.
Cameroon defender Aurelien Chedjou saw red in the 112th minute for a professional foul on Mohamed Nagy.
The Indomitable Lions opened the scoring in the 26th minute, courtesy of an own goal by Hassan, winning a record 170th cap.
Hassan turned from villain to hero in the 37th minute when he caught Kameni napping with a dipping shot from over 35 yards.
A faulty back pass two minutes into extra-time by Geremi Njitap found super-sub Mohamed Nagy, who slotted home between Kameni's legs to give Egypt the lead in this pulsating encounter.
The defending champions increased their lead on 95 minutes when a curling freekick by Hassan was adjudged to have been palmed beyond the goalline by Kameni. Television replays showed that the ball did not cross the line.
Man of the hour Hassan was unperturbed by the controversy.
"I'm very happy because we won today," he said.
In the 110th minute, Nagy dashed free through the Cameroon defence but Kameni made a brave save. The game appeared to slip away for Cameroon when Chedjou was sent off moments later
Egypt's first attack came only after six minutes when Ahmed Fathi fired at the Cameroon goal as the Pharaohs tried to get their own attack going and the Indomitable Lions pressed on at the other end of the pitch for an opening goal, forcing five corners in the first 11 minutes.
In the 15th minute, Alexandre Song fouled goal-bound Mohamed Zidan on the edge of the box, but the resulting freekick by Hosny Abdrabou was blocked by the Cameroon wall for a corner.
Cameroon continued to dictate the pace of this contest and more than deserved their lead when it came in the 25th minute. - Sapa-AFP