The four Quarter Final matches of the African Cup of Nations were played out over Sunday and Monday with some surprising end results.
The final kicked off with the host nations Angola played Ghana. Ghana were hotly tipped before the start of the tournament but after some poor displays and the loss of Essien to injury, their support wavered somewhat and a lot were backing Angola to beat them on this Sunday afternoon.
As it was though Ghana managed to overcome the strong hosts and knock them out of the competition with a somewhat bland 1-0 victory. The goal was scored by the pacey Asamoah Gyan as Ghana managed to scrape their way through to the Semi’s.
The tournament favorites Ivory Coast played the lackluster Algeria on the Sunday evening game and it seemed that this match would only go one way. Those thoughts were confirmed when Kalou scored early for the favorites as they then began to push Algeria. The Algerians defended well though and surprised the favorites when Matmour equalized before halftime.
Keita took the lead again with one minute to go and the Ivory Coast looked to have stolen a victory but Algeria came back at them again with Bougherra squaring things up in stoppage time; sending the game into Extra-time. Bouazza then made it 3-2 to Algeria in ET and some fine defending held off Ivory Coast as the favorites were kicked out of the Cup.
Cameroon started the Cup as the second favorites but they were due to play a strong Egyptian side on Monday afternoon. Cameroon went ahead after twenty-six minutes with an own-goal but Egypt displayed some of their fine spirit to level on thirty-seven minutes. This game was also pushed through to Extra-time and in the very early minutes a mistake by Cameroon man Geremi gifted a chance to Geddo who obliged to put Egypt in the lead.
The Egyptians extended their lead just three minutes later – five minutes into ET – when Hassan smashed a Free kick off the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced away but was adjudged to have crossed the line and Hassan claimed his second goal. The Cameroon players will be somewhat disheartened when they see the replay though as the ball never crossed the line and the goal shouldn’t have been.
After the shock of that goal Cameroon struggled to get into the game and Egypt won 3-1, they will play Algeria in the Semifinals.
The final Quarterfinal match looked like the most cut and dry one but it turned out to be the closest fought one yet. Outsiders Zambia were facing a tough Nigerian side and like the games before them this one went through to Extra-time with the sides deadlocked at 0-0. The game remained stuck at 0-0 and these two teams were forced to decide their fate in a Penalty shootout.
Stars Mikel, Martins and Obinna converted for Nigeria but were matched by Chivuta, Katongo and Mayuka for Zambia. Nyrienda missed his though whilst Odemwingie and Goalkeeper Enyeama converted for Nigeria to make it five out of five, beating Zambia 5-4 on penalties. Nigeria will now meet Ghana in the Semi’s.