cameroon, Zambia scrape through

LUBANGO, Angola - Cameroon came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Tunisia yesterday and reach the Afcon quarterfinals.

LUBANGO, Angola - Cameroon came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Tunisia yesterday and reach the Afcon quarterfinals.

Sharing the points after a Group D thriller at Tundavala Stadium was enough for the four-time champions to advance alongside Zambia, who beat overnight leaders Gabon 2-1 in Benguela.

A match that began so well for the north Africans as they took a 57-second lead ended with defender Ammar Jemal sent off just before full-time. Tunisia were seeking a first Afcon victory over Cameroon after a draw and two losses.

The Carthage Eagles team captained by defender Karim Haggui made a perfect start with Saudi Arabia-based striker Amine Chermiti scoring less than a minute after the kickoff. Chermiti burst between two defenders to head the ball wide of goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

It was the third consecutive game in which the Indomitable Lions found themselves behind in the first half and after failing to level against Gabon, they hit back to edge Zambia in a five-goal thriller.

Cameroon levelled in the opening minute of the second half as substitute Achille Webo and Mohamadou Idrissou combined to set up Eto'o, and the drilled the ball into the net off the far post.

The north Africans regained the lead on 63 minutes as Aurelien Chedjou sent a looping header over Kameni as he tried to avert danger with Chermiti lurking.

Cameroon equalised inside 60 seconds with Landy Nguemo on target.

l Zambia weathered a late rally to triumph over Gabon. Zambia's Rainford Kalaba slid a shot past keeper Didier Evono to open the scoring in the 28th minute and James Chamanga made it 2-0 with a simple tap-in just after the hour.

But a goal seven minutes from the end by Gabon substitute Fabrice do Marcelino set up an exciting finish. - Sapa-AFP and Reuters

X