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2002 African Nations Cup
Goalless Tunisia out after draw with Senegal
Egypt cruise into African quarter-finals

By Mark Gleeson
© Reuters Limited

World Cup finalists Tunisia tumbled out of the African Nations Cup without scoring a goal after drawing 0-0 with Senegal on Thursday.


Senegal striker Traore Amara (L) dribbles in front of Tunisian defender Mkademu Emie (R).
Photo Antony Njuguna, Reuters
The north Africans, whose performances have been heavily criticised by their own coach Henri Michel, finished behind Senegal and Egypt in group D.

They are the only one of the five African countries headed to the Word Cup finals in South Korea and Japan later this year who have failed to make the last eight at the tournament in Mali.

Tunisia did have their chances against a second-string Senegal side, who rested key players having already secured their progress to the quarter-finals last week.

A penalty by French-based midfielder Slim Benachor, who made his international debut on the eve of the Nations Cup finals, was saved by Senegal's Omar Diallo in the third minute of the second half.

It had been generously awarded by Italian referee Domenico Messina after Imed Mehdhebi slipped as he tangled with Senegal defender Pape Malick Diop.


Senegal's striker Traore Amara (R) is challenged by Tunisian midfielder Bouazizi Hamdi (L) in their African Nations Cup match at the Kayes stadium in Mali January 31, 2002. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.
Photo Antony Njuguna, Reuters
Minutes later a frantic goalmouth scramble saw Senegal twice clear off their line, first from defender Radhi Jaidi's close-range effort and then the rebound which fell to Benachour.

Tunisia had their first chance after just 37 seconds but Jamel Zabi's effort was saved and twice in the opening 15 minutes they beat the Senegal offside trap but were unable to capitalise on the breakaway.

Imed Mhedhebi should have opened the scoring in the 25th minute after a clever interchange of passes but he blasted wildly over the crossbar.

Senegal's best chance fell midway through the second half when substitute Souleymane Camara intercepted a stray back pass but his shot was spectacularly cleared off the line by Jaidi, who had chased back to scoop the ball away.

There was little for a large contingent of travelling Senegalese fans to enthuse over and the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for the entrance of El Hadj Ousseynou Diouf after 66 minutes.

The Lens striker is one of the three candidates for the upcoming African Footballer of the Year award and scored for his country last year in their successful World Cup qualifying campaign.

Egypt cruise into African quarter-finals
By Brian Homewood

Four-times champions Egypt cruised into the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup on Thursday, beating Zambia 2-1 on a stiflingly hot afternoon as veteran striker Hossam Hassan made his first appearance at the tournament.


Egypt's defender Hazem Imam (L) celebrates with his teammate Said Tarek (R) after scoring a goal against Zambia.
Photo Antony Njuguna, Reuters
Egypt, who finished Group D with six points from three games, won with two remarkably similar goals from Ajax striker Ahmed Hossam in the first half and Hazam Imam in the second.

Midfielder Gift Kampamba pulled a goal back in the 77th minute but Zambia's first goal of the tournament was too late to prevent them being knocked out in the first round for the third tournament running. They went home with one point and just one goal to their credit.

Hassan, the world's second most capped international and taking part in his sixth Nations Cup, had been kept out of Egypt's opening two games by a hamstring injury.

The 35-year-old had a quiet match but missed an excellent chance to celebrate with a goal when he broke through late in the game but saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Davies Phiri.

Zambia, with two players based in Germany, two in South Africa and seven locally in their starting line-up, again paid the price for poor finishing, just as they had done on Saturday when they lost 1-0 in the last minute to Senegal.

Dismal Tournament


Egypt's defender Fahim Amr (R) and Zambia's Lota Charles chase the ball during their African Nations Cup soccer match in Bamako Modibo Keita stadium January 31, 2002. Egypt won the match by 2-0.
Photo Antony Njuguna, Reuters
Cosmas Banda missed an excellent chance to put them in front when he was free in front of the goal in the penalty area but dallied over his shot and was crowded out by the defence.

Egypt broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when Hossam, who has had a disappointing tournament to date, rounded Phiri to score after beating the offside trap and latching on to a through ball.

The shot-shy Zambians then wasted another chance when midfielder Laughter Chilembe played an excellent one-two but passed instead of shooting. Immediately afterwards, Charles Lota had a shot turned away by Essaam El Hadary.

Egypt came out for the second half clearly intent on conserving energy in a match which kicked off at 4pm on a baking Sahelian afternoon and catching Zambia on the break.

They did exactly that in the 58th minute when Zambia's offside trap was again beaten and Imam burst through, rounded Phiri and scored.

Kampamba's goal came from a direct free kick near the goal-line in the 77th minute. Zambia should have equalised in the last minute but Harry Milanzi contrived to miss from 12 metres with the Egypt defence beaten.

©


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