Africa Cup of Nations: Egypt v Cameroon - as it happened | Barry Glendenning

Woeful goalkeeping, a dreadful backpass and some dubious officiating helped Egypt to come from behind and dump Cameroon out of the competition

Good afternoon everybody. You can read all about today's quarter-finalists in Jonathan Wilson's excellent preview, while I embark on the customary Frantic Afternoon Scrabble Around Cyberspace In Search Of Africa Cup Of Nations Starting Line-Ups. They usually appear on the news wires about 10 minutes into the first half, which obviously isn't ideal. This is a difficult game to call, but on the evidence of what I've seen so far this month, I think the Indomitable Lions have better players than Egypt, but the Pharaohs are the better team.

Pre-match niceties: Still no line-ups, but we'll soldier on without them for the time being. It's a repeat of the final from two years ago, between two sides who've won the Africa Cup of Nations 10 times between them. Egypt are out on the pitch, waiting for Cameroon to arrive. Samuel Eto'o grabs his mascot by the hand and leads his side out.

National anthems: Who'd be a Eurosport commentator or match summariser? We're halfway through the national anthems and they still haven't shown the list of names for either side's starting eleven.

1 min: After a fairly poorly observed silence for those who died in the earthquake in Haiti, Cameroon kick off. They're playing in their usual strip of green shirts, red shorts and yellow socks. Egypt's players line up in red shirts, white shorts and black socks.

2 min: Ahmed Hassan gets bundled off the ball by Gilles Binya, who wins the first corner of the match for Cameroon.

3 min: Emana swings the corner into the near post and out of play. Despite the ball being conspicuously not inside the quadrant when he took the corner-kick, the linesman didn't seem to mind.

4 min: Cameroon are having the better of the early exchanges, having set about their task with vigour. On the rare occasions they're not in possession, they're busily hustling and harrying the Egyptians off the ball.

5 min: Egypt win a free-kick deep inside their own half after a foul by Samuel Eto'o. Wael Gomaa welts the ball past the halfway line for a moment's respite.

6 min: At last - some hot team action.

Egypt: 1-Essam El Hadari; 2-Mahmoud Fathallah, 6-Hani Said, 20-Wael Gomaa, 7-Ahmed Fathi; 14-Sayed Moawad; 8-Hosni Abd Rabou, 17-Ahmed Hassan, 3-Ahmed Al Muhammadi; 9-Mohamed Zidan, 10-Emad Motaeb.

Cameroon: 1-Idriss Carlos Kameni; 12-Henri Bedimo, 8-Geremi, 3-Nicolas Nkoulou, 5-Aurelien Chedjou; 6-Alexandre Song, 18-Enoh Eyong, 20-Georges Mandjeck, 10-Achille Emana; 9-Samuel Eto'o, 17-Mohamadou Idrissou.

Referee: Jerome Damon (South Africa)

8 min: Hassan tries to drive the Egyptians forward, only to be fouled by Achille Emana. He goes down theatrically, holding his ankle. I don't think there's too much wrong with him.

9 min: Geremi plays the ball up the right flank for Georges Mandjeck to chase. He wins a corner, from which Wael Gomaa concedes another.

10 min: Emana takes the corner and Cameroon win another one ... then another. This is getting very tedious.

11 min: Egyptian midfielder Wael Gomaa gets a talking-to from the referee for pushing and shoving in the penalty area between corners, then Emana sends in his third corner in quick succession. Egypt clear.

13 min: Samuel Eto'o skins Ahmed Fathi for pace down the right wing, but the full-back recovers sufficiently well to put the ball out for another corner. Nothing comes of it.

15 min: Alex Song fouls Mohamed Zidan a couple of yards outside the Cameroon penalty area. Egypt get the free-kick.

16 min: Hosni takes the free-kick, the wall jumps and the ball deflects off them for a corner. Sayed Moawad sends the ball into the mixer, it's back towards him down by the touchline, so he sends it in again. Cameroon clear. This is a very scrappy game.

18 min: Hosni Abd Rabou gets booked for a foul on Enoh Eyong.

19 min: Alex Song plays an excellent ball up the left flank for Enoh to chase. There's too much pace on it and the Cameroon winger can't keep the ball in play.

20 min: Song gets caught on the ball deep in his own half, forcing a team-mate to make a crucial interception as Egypt countered courtesy of Ahmed Fathi.

22 min: "Come on Egypt!" writes Ollie Spero. "Arsenal could do with Alexandre Demetri Song-Billong back!" Speaking of Alexandre Demetri Song-Billong, the great man was very lucky to escape a yellow card just now, fouling Mohamed Zidan in the Cameroon left-back position, then handling the ball deliberately.

24 min: From the free-kick conceded by Song, Egypt go close. The ball is crossed into the penalty area and Zidan puts a free header high over the bar.

GOAL! Cameroon 1-0 Egypt (Hassan 25og) Cameroon go ahead courtesy of an Ahmed Hassan own goal from an Achille Emana corner to the near post. Emana's corner was marvellous - he whipped it into the near post and if Hassan hadn't helped the ball on its way, it would almost certainly have gone in anyway.

28 min: Egypt go close when Cameroon goalkeeper Kameni rushes off his line to collect a through-ball, only to be beaten to it by - I think - Zidan. His header goes wide, but not by much.

29 min: Cameroon defender Henri Bedimo goes down injured after a clash with Ahmed Fathi. He'll live.

31 min: Cameroon win another corner and the ball's sent across the edge of the six-yard box. Idrissu beats Gomaa in the air, but scuffs his header. The ball goes out for another corner, which Egypt clear.

32 min: Egypt attack and Fathi plays a clever pass from the centre of the field out towards the left corner for Zidan to chase. There's a wee bit too much leather on the ball and it runs out of play for a Cameroon goal-kick.

35 min: Cameroon win a free-kick deep inside their own half. Song plays a long ball up towards the towering centre-forward Idrissou, but his marker, Hani Said, clears for a throw-in.

GOAL! Cameroon 1-1 Egypt (Hassan 36)More of the comedy goalkeeping for which this tournament is renowned allows Ahmed Hassan to atone for his own-goal. He shoots from about 35 yards out and the ball bounces in front of and over Cameroon's goalkeeper Idriss Kameni on it's way into the bottom left-hand corner.

39 min: Wael Gomaa gets booked for a harmless challenge on Samuel Eto'o. He's followed into the book by Geremi, with both cautions appearing to be for dissent.

41 min: Geremi plays a long ball towards Idrissou, but not for the first time, the pass is too high for the Cameroon frontman.

30 min: The good people at Eurosport inform me that the right-footed shot with which Ahmed Hassan equalised was 34 metres out. It was a decent, dipping drive, but it shouldn't have troubled Kameni.

44 min: "Is there any limit to the size of goalkeeper's equipment?" asks Colin Greer. "Perhaps giant clown gloves and shoes (and wig?) would be useful, as they could block more of the goal." Well?

45 min: Achille Emana tries his luck with a speculative shot from distance, forcing a smart save from Essam El Hadari in the Egyptian goal. I don't think the Egypt keeper was expceting that - it seemed to take him by surprise.

45 +1 min: There'll be a minimum of two minutes' worth of added time.

45+2 min: El Hadari is pressed into service again, charging off his line to beat Idrissou to an excellent through-ball from Samuel Eto'o, who's in a more withdrawn role today, playing behind Idrissou out near the right wing.


Half-time analysis: "Colin Greer could be onto something here," writes Adrian Cooper. "Is this why David James was sporting that silly afro a couple of seasons ago. With just the right amount of hairspray it could have added valuable inches to the amount of the goalmouth that he could cover. Surely there would also be an argument for fielding goalkeepers that aren't exactly on the svelte side? Could this be why Roberto Mancini has put pizza on the Man City menu?"

"That header on 23 minutes was one of the worst I've ever seen," writes Pete in Birmingham. "He put it into orbit!" Yeah, sorry about that. I probably didn't do it justice, but it's been a very long and tiring day. If this match goes to extra-time, there's a very good chance I'll burst into tears.

Second half: Egypt get the second half underway. I don't think there's been any changes to either side.

46 min: The ball is played in behind the Egyptian defence, where Wael Gomaa foolishly waits for it to bounce before hacking clear. He was at full stretch there, with Idrissou lurking behind him.

47 min: Shocking defending from Chedjou, who allows a long ball from deep inside the Egyptian half to bounce when he should have headed clear. Motaeb pounces for Egypt, but goalkeeper Kasmeni saves his centre-half's bacon with a fine save.

49 min: It's all Egypt at the moment, mainly because of terrible defending from Aurelian Chedjou. He's having a nightmare. They waste two chances in quick succession, the pick of them a wild slash from Zidan from 13 yards out that fizzes narrowly wide.

51 min: Cameroon win another corner, which Achille Emana plays short to Alex Song. The pair combine to creat a decent shooting angle, but Emana's shot is so bad that it goes out for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch.

53 min: There's a break in play when Gomaa requires treatment after landing awkwardly in the wake of an aerial tussle between himself, Idrissou and Egypt goalkeeper Essan El Hadari.

54 min: Samuel Eto'o wins a free-kick in the centre-circle after being fouled by Mahmoud Fathallah. The ball is played to Georgeds Mandjeck on the edge of the Egypt box and he rifles a low drive about half a metre wide of the right post.

56 min: There's a bit of argy-bargy between Cameroon centre-half Nicolas Nkoulou and Emad Motaeb. I think Nkoulu got booked for his part in it after pushing the Egypt striker in the chest.

58 min: Now Nkoulou requires treatment after a collision with Sayed Moawad. All these stoppages for free-kicks and injuries mean the second half hasn't really got going yet. It's very scrappy.

59 min: Samuel Eto'o tees up Enoh, who shoots over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.

60 min: Not for the first time, a promising looking Cameroon attack breaks down once Alex Song enters the equation. He's not having one of his better games and keeps giving the ball away.

61 min: Throw-in for Cameroon in the Egypt left-back position. Geremi sends the ball towards the penalty area and Egypt clear.

62 min:Emana stings El Hadari's palms with a drive from distance. The ball breaks to Sayed Moawad, who heads it out for a corner under pressure from Geremi. Egypt clear.

64 min: Egypt win a throw-in in front of their own dug-out. The referee stops his watch upon noticing that the Egypt goalkeeper El Hadari has removed a glove and is nursing an injured wrist. A quick spray from the magic aerosol later and he's fit to continue.

67 min: Egypt substitution: Zidan off, Khaled Gedo on ... I think.

68 min: Cameroon get a free-kick 35 metres out from the Egypt goal, right of centre. Geremi clips it around the wall and tries to sneak the ball in at the foot of the right upright. His effort is on target, but El Hadari scampers across his line to save.

69 min: The longer this match goes on, the more Cameroon look like winning. They're doing all of the pressing, which means Egypt are playing very deep and their two strikers are completely isolated up front.

71 min: Hassan gives away his third free-kick in the past eight minutes, this time on the halfway line. I'm not sure how he's escaped a booking because they were all fairly meaty challenges.

72 min: There's another stoppage as Enoh gets treatment after a collision with Hani Said. He'd played a one-two with Samuel Eto'o and was on his way to collect the return pass on the edge of the penalty area when he ran straight into immovable object that was the Egyptian defender

75 min: Cameroon win a corner, which Geremi sends it in to the near post. His delivery is poor and goes straight to an Egyptian, who clears.

76 min: Cameroon win another free-kick in the middle third. Geremi pumps the ball towards the Egypt penalty area, but Fathallah heads it clear.

77 min: "This match provides ample time to do some in-depth research into clown gloves," writes Wouter Ijzermans from the Netherlands. "In response to Colin Greer's comment I can confirm that Fifa's rules of the game state that: 'A player may use equipment other than the basic equipment (shirt, shorts, shinguards, stockings and shoewear) provided that its sole purpose is to protect him physically and it poses no danger to him or any other player'. Clown gloves and shoes certainly pose a danger for anyone with decent taste so they must be out of order."

79 min: Cameroon win another free-kick about 45 yards from the Egypt goal. Geremi strikes it through the wall, but the pace is taken off it on the way and Egypt hack clear.

80 min: Motaeb gets penalised for a foul on Alex Song, when it looked very much like the Cameroon defender had fouled the Egyptian in the Cameroon penalty area. That's a let-off for Song.

82 min: Eight minutes to go and unless there's another goal, we'll have another 30 afterwards. Come on Egypt! Come on Cameroon! Somebody ... anybody ... please, please, please score!

84 min: Egypt substitution: Hossam Ghaly on, Hosni Abd Rabou off.

85 min: El Hadari rushes off his line to collect a cross from the right wing. It's all Cameroon at the moment - Egypt are holding on for extra time. The feckers.

86 min: Muhammadi looks nervously at the referee after Idrissou went down under a challenge from him in the Egypt penalty area. Much to his relief, the ref points to the corner instead of the penalty spot.

87 min: Cameroon substitution: Emana off, Webo on.

88 min: Egypt go close at the death, when Emad Motaeb sidefoots into the side-netting from about six yards out. He really should have done better after getting on the end of a marvellous cross-field pass from Sayed Moawad.

90 min: There'll be three minutes of added time.

90+1 min: Nkoulou plays a long ball up to Idrissou and the centre forward knocks it down. Samuel Eto'o isn't ideally placed to pick up the knock-down and the chance goes a begging.

90+2 min: Peep! Peep! Peep! There'll be half an hour of extra time, possibly followed by a penalty shootout. Cameroon were the better side throughout, but Egypt had several good chances to win it, particularly at the beginning and end of the second half.

ET1: Cameroon kick-off the first half of extra time and immediately bring a save out of El Hadari when Samuel Eto'o shoots low and hard from outside the penalty area. The Egypt goalkeeper gets down to his left and saves.

GOAL! Cameroon 1-2 Egypt (Gedo 92) THe substitutite Gedo intercepts a very sloppy backpass from Geremi to his goalkeeper, takes the ball around Kameni and slots it into an empty net. That's another howler.

ET 4: I stand corrected - Gedo did not in fact take the ball around Kameni, he nutmegged him.

GOAL! Cameroon 1-3 Egypt (Hassan 95) More bad goalkeeping. Calamitous, in fact. Egypt win a free-kick about 30 yards out in the left channel. Ahmed Hassan hits a scorcher which Kameni punches on to his upright The ball bounces on the line and out of the goal, but the linesman tells the referee to give award the score.

ET7: Cameroon win a corner. SOme of their players are looking seriously shellshocked after those two sucker-punches.

ET8: The ball's floated in to the near post, where it gets flicked on. Nkoulou heads it and Samuel Eto'o tries to divert it goalwards with a bicycle-kick. He misses the ball completely and it goes wide.

ET9: Cameroon win a free-kick on the right-hand side of the field about 25 yards out from goal. Moawad gets booked for time-wasting as Egypt form their wall, then Geremi sends the free-kick out for a corner off the aforementioned human shield.

ET12: Cameroon have nobody to blame but themselves for the pickle they currently find themselves in. All three of the goals they've coneded have been defensive abberations - two dropped clangers from the goalkeeper and a dreadful backpass from Geremi, from whom you'd expect better.

ET14: Egypt are now firmly in control, forcing Cameroon's players to chase shadows as they pass the ball around between them, content to keep possession and try to run down the clock.

ET15: There'll be one minute of time extra time in first half of extra time.

Half-time in extra-time The players make their way over to the side of the pitch for some liquid refreshments, with Cameroon goalkeeper Idriss Kameni looking thoroughly ashamed of himself. He'll feel even worse when he sees the replay of the game, as the third goal he shipped shouldn't have stood. My first impression was that the ball bounced over the line, but replays show I was mistaken.

ET16: And we're off again, with Burnley's Andre Bikey coming on for - I think - Geremi.

ET17: Cameroon resort to Route One, but a long ball from the back is allowed to bounce straight to El Hadari in the Egypt goal.

ET17: Great hold-up play from Idrissou, who tries to play Webo through on goal. The substitute is penalised for being needlessly offside.

ET18: A sly shirt-tug by a player in red earns Cameroon a free-kick in the Egypt left-back position, from which they win a corner.

ET20: Then another, from which Egypt break courtesy of Hossam Ghally. He over-runs the ball, shows too much of it to Kameni and allows the goalkeeper to save.

ET21: Aurelien Chedjou gets sent off for a professional foul on Gedo. He's had a terrible game and his side will actually be better off without him. He let a long ball bounce when he shouldn't have, then wasn't strong enough to hold off Gedo, who'd spotted an opportunity. As the Egyptian headed off for the Cameeroon goal with the ball at his feet, Chedjou grabbed him around the waist and brought him down.

ET24: Egypt continue trying to play down the clock by passing the ball around Cameroon. They look more like scoring a fourth goal than conceding a second. Cameroon are dead men walking.

ET25: Samuel Eto'o's poor tournament continues - he tries a shot from distance that sails wide. The camera cuts to the Cameroon bench, where Geremi and others look absolutely distraught.

ET26: Alex Song wins a corner for Cameroon, which Georges Mandjeck takes deep. It's headed wide by Bikey. Egypt substitution: Hassan, who has scored two goals for his own side and one for Cameroon this evening, off. Abdelshafi on.

ET28: Cameroon win a free-kick just inside the Egypt half, which Alex Song welts into the penalty area. The ball pinballs about a bit, before El Hadari gathers for Egypt.

ET30: Peep! Peep! Peep! It's all over - the holders Egypt go through to the semi-finals after taking advantage of some calamitous defending from Cameroon, who were actually the better team for lengthy periods of the match. They've thrown this one away, although the goal that sealed their fate was very contentious - it definitely didn't cross the line and should not have been given. Anyway, that's all from me - thanks for your time and enjoy whatever's left of your day. I'm off for a long overdue lie-down.


Barry Glendenning

The GuardianTramp

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