Late drama as Cameroon reach World Cup with 2-1 win in Algeria

Ahram Online , Wednesday 30 Mar 2022

Cameroon sealed their place in the World Cup in dramatic fashion, scoring four minutes into the extra time's stoppage time to condemn Algeria to a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in Blida and advance on the away goal rule following a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Algeria s defender Abdelkader Bedrane reacts during the second leg of the 2022 Qatar World Cup African Qualifiers football match between Algeria and Cameroon at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in the city of Blida on March 29, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

The Indomitable Lions, who suffered a 1-0 home loss in the first leg, levelled the aggregate score when striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting made the most of a mistake from Algeria keeper Rais M'Bolhi to fire home on 22 minutes.

M'Bolhi made amends with a superb double save eight minutes past the hour mark, blocking a header from Leandre Tawamba and a follow-up effort from Martin Hongla.

In extra time, Algeria had a goal by Islam Slimani disallowed when a VAR review spotted the Portugal-based striker using his arm to score following a right-wing cross.

However, Algeria thought they had snatched a win in the 118th minute when Ahmed Touba headed home a corner at the far post, only for Karl Toko Ekambi to stun the home crowd with a goal at the death following an inexplicable defensive lapse.

He sneaked in between two static defenders to side-foot home after a flick had found him, dealing an agonizing loss to Algeria.

Cameroon will now make an African record-extending eighth appearance at the World Cup, with new coach Rigobert Song enjoying a dream start to his reign and Samuel Eto'o, his ex-Cameroon teammate, tasting his first success as the head of the country's football federation.

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