Charles Itandje was the hero as Cameroon forced Tunisian to a goalless draw on Sunday evening in their first leg 2014 World Cup qualifiers play offs in Rades.
The 30-year old produced a series of stunning saves to keep the tie even heading into the second leg next month in Yaounde.
He had to make a couple of great saves in the early stages of the game to deny first Chikaoui then Chermiti as Cameroon soaked up the boiling Tunisian pressure.
Itandje was once again tested with a long range effort just from 40 yards out by Ben Yahia but did well to get back on the line and chip the ball for a corner kick.
The ensuing corner produced one of the best saves of the game as Itandje had to make himself big to deny Chikhaoui from heading home the opener.
All the pre-match talk had been built around Samuel Eto’o’s return to the team but the Chelsea man was well marshaled by the Tunisian defence as he found limited space to play in between.
When he did find it, he teed up Jean Makoun at the edge of the Tunisian box but the Rennes man’s low shot was just a whisker from hitting the target- that was Cameroon’s chance of the half.
The second half was the same old story with Cameroon soaking the pressure and Itandje trying to hit Tunisia on the counter but the remained goalless as all would be decided in Yaounde for the second leg of the tie in November.
Match report to follow…
This tie would now be decided in Yaounde on November 17.
FT Tunisia 0-0 Cameroon.
90+3′ Idrissou rises higher than the Tunisian defence but heads wide and that would be the last action of the match
90+2 Tunisia throwing the kitchen sink at Cameroon.
90+1′ Great defending for Chedjou to deny Tunisia. That was a great chance for the hosts.
90′ Three minutes would be added on here as Tunisia try to leave it late.
89′ Cameroon substitution Eto’o off, Choupo Moting on.
88′ Yellow card Reguid(Tunisia). He felled down Samuel Eto’o who had started a promising move and the Chelsea striker stays down to receive some treatment. Controcersy here as Eto’o is refusing to go out but has finally done so and would be subbed by Choupo Moting
85′ Free kick in a promising position for Tunisia after Kana Biyik brings down a Tunisian play just outside the Cameroon box but the free kick is a disappointing one.
83′ Ben Youssef tries a long range effort but it is a very disappointing one as Itandje comfortably collects the ball
82′ Tunisia substitution Chikaoui out in comes Hatira
80′ Cameroon happy with the score line and are trying to retain possession as Tunisia are ready to make their third and final change
79′ Eto’o gets a go at the Tunisian defence but he is robbed of the ball and the Tunisians can counter
76′ Cameroon substitution, Idrissou on for Jean Makoun. The Rennes man has had a decent game.
74′ Tunisian substitution Chermiti off for Issam Jemaa. Watch out for this man!!!
72′ The ball is in the back of the net but that would not count as Matip thought he had opened scoring for Cameroon. The Schalke man had a slight push at a Tunisian defender.
First Cameroon substitution, Kana Biyik replaces Allan Nyom at the back
68′ Great CHANCE!!! for Cameroon. Webo unable to bury a cross into the empty Tunisian net. He was caught between heading the ball and chesting it but he ended up doing half of both.
64′ Great counter attacking play there for Tunisia who earn a corner and Itandje makes another great save to keep Cameroon in the match. What would Cameroon be without him?
60′ Great hold up play but Eto’o in his own half but he gives out possesion needlessly in the middle of the park but Matip brings down Chermitti and immediately goes into the referee’s book.
59′ Cherifa with a great save to deny Cameron after Alex Song teed up Matip
54′ Great CHANCE for Tunisia as Mikari crosses to Ben Youssef who can not direct his header on goal. What a chance there for the home side.
48′ Misunderstanding at the back between Chedjou and Nkoulou but Itandje comes out to stop the Tunisian attack.
47′ Tunisia have started the second half just as the first with high intensity
46′ And we are underway as Tunisia get the ball rolling
46′ Tunisia make their first substitution as Ben Youssef replaces Sami Allagui
The teams are on the pitch for the second half ………..
45+1 The referee blows the half time whistle Tunisia 0-0 Cameroon. Itandje has been the man of the match so far.
43′ Tunisia looking to play out this half on the 0-0 score as Cameroon get the ascendancy.
41′ Eto’o sneaks through the left hand side and lays the ball off for Makoun just outside the box but the Rennes man’s shot fell millimetres short of beating the Tunisian ‘keeper – That’s Cameroon’s best effort so far- Great CHANCE
37′ Allan Nyom(Cam) picks up the first caution of the game
36′ Another shot by Allagui but the ball goes wide. He has been the danger man in this Cameroon defence
31′ Nkoulou does brilliantly well to sneak the ball off Allagui
30′ Chermiti races down the corner flag and swings in a cross which is cleared by the Cameroon defence
27′ Eto’o shoots from range which is deflected and Ben Cherifa can collect.
25’ Achille Webo with Cameroon’s first shot on target but too tame to beat the Algerian ‘keeper Ben Cherifa
24′ Tough tackle on Eto’o amidst boos from the Tunisan fans…. the game is getting a bit scrappy at the moment.
19′ Promising build up there for Tunisia but Mikari could not keep the ball in play after that beautiful one-to-one
17′ Itandje makes another great save as Chikhaoui’s head was goal-bound.
15′ Tunisia now attacking as Ben Yahia drives a powerful one there but Itandje just gets back in time to flick it over the cross bar for a corner to Tunisia.
14′ Matip tries to latch on the ensuing free kick whiped in by Eto’o by the Tunisian defence clears
12′ Matip is fouled at the edge of the the Tunisian box and free kick for Cameroon-their first real chance to threaten.
10′ A brave header from Chermiti but Itandje makes a great save.
9′ Cameroon come forward with their first meaningful build up play but Samuel Eto’o’s strike is very weak to threaten the Tunisian goalkeeper.
6′ Tunisia now really enjoying themselves in the opening stages of this match
5′ Another great CHANCE there for the home side as the corner is whiped and Chikaoui at the back post heads down but Itandje makes another great save to deny Tunisia.
4′ Misunderstanding in the Cameroon defence as Chedjou clears for a corner.
3′ Tunisian have another chance but the linesman flag was already up….
2′ Chedjou clears but not a good one there as the Tunisians are back in possession
1′ Great CHANCE there for Tunisia and Itandje does well to block that shot as Cameroon survive an early scare…
1’- Cameroon gets us underway with the kick off
-Both team teams are now on the pitch singing the national anthem……
– The teams have just finished warming up the game kicks off in under a quarter of an hour
-The big news for Cameroon is the return of star striker Samuel Eto’o after alleged retirement. He would be partnered upfront by Achille Webo who starts in place of Choupo Moting.In defence, Cameroon have a head ache at the left back position as Gaetan Bong and Henri Bedimo are all out injured so Granada right back Allan Nyom is set to earn his first start for Cameroon at left back.
Cameroon are equally expected to line up a 4-3-3 formation: Itandje-Nounkeu-Chedjou-Nkoulou. Nyom- Eyong-Song-Matip-Makoun-Eto’o-Webo
– So no big change for Tunisia from the squad that lost 2-0 at home to Cape Verde but striker Saber Khalifa returns after missing that game through suspension.
-Tunisia would line up a 4-3-3:Moez Ben Cherifia-Sameh Derbali- Yassine Mikari-Syam Ben Youssef-Alaeddine Yahia-Houcine Regued- Wissem Ben Yahia- Yassine Chikhaoui-Saber Khalifa- Sami Allagui et-Mohamed Amine Chermiti
– Withless than an hour and thirty minutes to go before kick off, we have some interesting unconfirmed team news coming out of the dressing rooms….
-Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers between Tunisia and Cameroon here in Rades.
Catch all the live play-by-play commentary of the crucial first leg 2014 World Cup qualifier between Tunisia and Cameroon on Sunday October 13 at 17hoo GMT!!!
We will be live here to bring you all the action from Rades!!!!
After missing out on a place at the 2010 World Cup on the final day, Tunisia would be seeking to return to the big occasion when they host Cameroon on Sunday13th October at 5PM in the first leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers play offs.
The Tunisians look to seize their second chance after qualifying for this final only through a FIFA ruling that sent Cape Verde packing.
The Carthage Eagles would be aware that they have a very poor record against the Indomitable Lions and would be hoping to put that past behind them and qualify for Brazil.
On the other hand, Cameroon have not have not been the force they once were at the start of the millennium when they won back to back Afcon titles as well as an Olympic medal.
After a disappointing 2010 World Cup that saw the Lions finish last of their group with no point, they have failed to qualify for two consecutive Afcon tournaments.
In Samuel Eto’o, the Lions have one of the finest strikers in the world who could lead their charge to the World Cup but would equally be buoyed by their positive record against the Carthage Eagles.
In 16 meetings, Cameroon have won eight times and lost only twice while both sides have drawn six matches-the peak of these victories for the Lions was in 1989 when the Lions beat Tunisia home and away to qualify for the 1990 World Cup where they became the first African nation to reach the quarter finals – could history be on its way to repeat itself?
Tunisia’s probable line up:Ben Cherifa-Karim Haggui-Derbaly-Allagui-Chammam-Abdennour-Darragi-Dhaouadi-Traoui-Sassi-Mouelhi-Khazri-Jemaa-Allagui.
Cameroon’s probable line up: Itandje-Nounkeu-Chedjou-Nkoulou-Bong-Matip-Song-Eyong-Makou-Eto’o-Choupo Moting.
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