2008 African Cup of Nations Quarterfinals: Egypt edges Angola, Cameroon squeaks by Tunisia in a thriller

After Ghana and the Ivory Coast advanced to the semifinals with wins on Sunday, the other two spots were up for grabs on Monday, as Group C winner and reigning African Cup of Nations champion Egypt took on Group D runner-up Angola, and Group D winner Tunisia took on Group C runner-up Cameroon.

Egypt 2-1 Angola

Egypt booked a rematch of the 2006 African Cup of Nations final with the Ivory Coast by holding off Angola in Monday’s early quarterfinal.

Egypt took the lead in the 23rd through midfielder Hosny Adb Rabou, who converted a penalty after a handball in the area. It was his third penalty goal of the competition, and his fourth overall in four matches.

But, Angola were level only four minutes later through Manucho, who scored his fourth and finest goal of the competition, firing a blast from distance that sailed into the top of the net to draw Angola even at 1.

But, just as good as that strike was, Egypt’s second goal was lucky, as a failed clearance attempt deflected off of the body of striker Amr Zaki and in to put the champions up in the 38th.

That would prove to be enough to send Egypt to the semifinals, where they’ll face the impressive Ivorians on Thursday.

Cameroon 3-2 Tunisia (AET)

Cameroon wasted an early 2-0 lead, but thanks to midfielder Stephane Mbia, the Indomitable Lions are in the final four.

In Cameroon’s group matches, record-setting Samuel Eto’o stole the show, scoring five goals, but it was the 21-year old Rennes midfielder who was the star on Monday evening.

Mbia gave Cameroon the lead in the 19th minute when a high ball came deep into the area, and he came out of nowhere to beat everyone, defender, teammate, and goalkeeper included, to head it in.

Eight minutes later, Newcastle midfielder Geremi made it 2-0 when his curling, dipping free kick beat the Tunisian keeper at the near post.

But, Chouki Ben Saada brought Tunisia back in it on 35 with a finely-taken free kick of his own, beating Carlos Kameni with his swerving shot.

With time running out for Tunisia, the 2004 champions found an equalizer, as Yassine Chikhaoui unleashed a shot from right of the penalty spot that Kameni had no chance at, making it 2-2 in the 81st minute.

The match went into extra time, where Mbia shot Cameroon into the lead and into the semifinals in the second minute of extra time, as his right foot met Joel Epalle’s headed pass, and the resulting low strike hit the back of the net to make it 3-2 on 92.

Tunisia didn’t have an answer, and so it’s Cameroon who will take on hosts Ghana in Thursday’s semifinal matchup in Accra.

The Goals

Egypt 2-1 Angola

Hosny (23rd min. penalty): 1-0 Egypt
Manucho (27th min.): 1-1
Zaki (38th min.): 2-1

Tunisia 2-3 Cameroon

Mbia (19th minute): 1-0 Cameroon
Geremi (27th min.): 2-0 Cameroon
Ben Saada (35th min.): 2-1 Cameroon
Chikhaoui (81st min.): 2-2
Mbia (92nd min.): 3-2 Cameroon

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