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Cameroon bounce back as Eto'o equals record

Latest update : 2008-01-27

Cameroon breathed new life into their Cup bid as they claimed a comfortable win over Zambia 5-1 on Saturday. Star striker Samuel Eto'o scored a penalty to equal the tournament's all-time scoring record.

Four-time champions Cameroon got their 2008 Africa Nations Cup campaign back on course with a comfortable 5-1 trouncing of Zambia as star striker Samuel Eto'o matched the tournament's all-time scoring record.

Cameroon slumped to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Group C rivals, and defending champions, Egypt in their first match but they bounced back in style.

It was also another chapter of personal glory for three-time African Player of the Year Eto'o, who equalled the tournament's all-time scoring record of Ivorian Laurent Pokou of 14 when he scored from the penalty spot in the 65th minute. It was also his third goal of this competition.

Cameroon coach Otto Pfister hailed his team for getting back on course.

"We won the game but we still have a lot of work to do," said Pfister.

"We lost our first game to Egypt because we lacked discipline on the pitch but we have made up for this now."

His Zambian counterpart Patrick Phiri said he was disappointed with his defence for gifting their opponents the goals.

"We prepared well for this tournament in Spain, Tunisia and Morocco and the defence is our strongest department but for the first time since I took charge of the team a year and half ago, they let us down," said Phiri.

"Cameroon were lucky because we created all the goals for them. Probably my players were scared of the big names of Cameroon."

The Indomitable Lions took the lead on 27 minutes courtesy of a well-struck free kick by Geremi Njitap before they increased their tally five minutes later when Desire Job stole through to hit target.

Poor Zambian defending again allowed Toulose ace Achilles Emana to net his team's third goal minutes to the interval.

More catastrophic defending saw Cameroon score their fifth goal as Job slotted home in the 81st minute for his second goal of the night. Christopher Katongo netted a consolation goal for Zambia in the 89th minute.

A row over match bonus days before this clash appeared not to have worked against Zambia as James Chamanga let fly a shot from outside the box after five minutes but it was saved by goalkeeper Idriss Kameni.

After sustained pressure, Cameroon midfielder Emana was fouled on the edge of the box and Geremi hit a beauty from a direct free kick which beat Mweene for the opening goal in the 27th minute.

Cameroon doubled their advantage five minutes later when three Zambian defenders failed to clear a long ball and Job beat Mweene.

A slip by Chansa let in the hard working Emana, who coolly put the ball past a hapless Mweene for goal number three.

Ian Bakala came close to pulling a goal back for Zambia in first half stoppage time but his near post header was pushed away by Kameni.

Zambia fought back at the restart and Rigobert Song had to bring his wealth of experience to bear when he timed his tackle to perfection to stop the rampaging Christopher Katongo from scoring.

However, it was Cameroon that went further ahead in the 65th minute.

Eto'o was fouled around the edge of the box. He picked hmself up and took the free kick which was handled inside the area and from the resulting spot kick he equalled Pokou's record of 14 goals.

Zambia battled on and skipper Katongo's header skimmed off the crossbar after 73 minutes. Mulenga also came close as the Indomitable Lions appeared to tire.

In the 79th minute, Mulenga again forced a spectacular finger-tip save from Kameni.

Job wrapped up the rout two minutes later before Zambia got a consolation through skipper Katongo in the final minutes.


Date created : 2008-01-26