Zambia and Cameroon met at the Tundavala National Stadium in Lubango as both sides knew that 3 points were the order of the day. If Zambia won then they would virtually be guaranteed a place in the next phase, whereas a defeat for Cameroon would mean a shock exit from the tournament.
The atmosphere in the stadium generated by the 15000 crowd was electric as the game kicked off. Cameroon drew first blood as Emana blasted a 35 yard free kick hopelessly high and wide after Makoun had been felled by Kalaba.
Cameroon were very nervy at the back as Zambia’s forwards were proving to menaces and it was no surprise when Zambia took the lead on 8 minutes.
A great run down the left wing by Felix Katongo ended in a low well driven cross which Rigobert Song could only head to his own goal, but Kameni could only parry the ball into the path of Jacob Mulenga who gleefully tapped the ball into the net.
Rigobert Song in defence for the Lions was having a torrid time as he lost possession on the edge of his area to Chris Katongo, who himself wriggled his way through 3 players but as he shaped up to shoot he was thwarted by a last ditch tackle.
Kalaba goes on a stupendous run and breaks into the box only to be denied by a last ditch challenge from Nkoulou.
From there the Lions break quickly and the ball lands at the feet of Eto’o who shoots with his left foot but sees his effort roll harmlessly wide.
On 34 minutes, Kalaba is finally shown a yellow card after a reckless challenge on Alex Song. From the resulting free kick, Mweene comes to Zambia’s rescue as he pulls off a fantastic save to deny Makoun.
On 37 minutes Zambia should have been 2-0 up as Kameni pulls off a fantastic double save. First he saves a 40 yard free kick from Kalaba and then from the rebound he saves Chris Katongo’s follow up as he saves with his legs.
Zambia end the first half 1-0 up and look to keep up their good workrate in the 2nd half.
Le Guen makes 2 changes at half time as he brings on Binya and The giant forward Idrissou.
On 58 minutes Cameroon had the ball in the net, Eto’o free kick was flicked into the net by Rigobert Song. The celebrations were cut short as the goal was ruled out by the linesman for offside. Television replays show that Song was level when the free kick was taken.
Zambia had a chance to make it 2-0 when Chris Katongo whipped in a glorious cross of which Mulenga just fails to get a connection on the ball when only 6 yards out.
Cameroon equalised on 68 minutes. A shocking error by keeper Mweene as he allows a cross from Geremi to squirm under his body and into the net.
The Lions could now sense blood and went for the jugular. It was no surprise when Cameroon went 2-1 up on 72 minutes.
Tchoyi breaks down the right and pings in a cross which ricochets into the path of lurking Eto’o who plants the ball across the keeper and into the net.
Zambia are pressing forward in search of an equaliser and they reap the rewards for their persistance as the win a penalty on 80 minutes.
Mulenga chases down a through ball and as he breaks into the box he is ruthlessly hacked down by keeper Kameni. The ref points to the spot and shows a yellow card to Kameni for his troubles.
Chris Katongo steps up and cooly scores his spot kick sending the keeper the wrong way.
But then on 85 minutes Cameroon took the lead again. A free kick from Geremi on the right was met by 6’4″ forward Idrissou who planted a powerfull header past a flatfooted Mweene and into the net.
The game ends in a victory for Cameroon after a pulsating match, whilst Zambia will now look to their final and crucial game against Gabon.
Zambia : K Mweene; J Musonda, S Sunzu, T Nyirenda, E Mbola; C Katongo, R Kalaba, C Kampamba, F Katongo; J Mulenga, J Chamanga.
Subs Used : I Chansa, E Mayuka, F Kasonde.
Cameroon : C Kameni; R Song, N Nkoulou, H Bedimo, Geremi; S Mbia, A Song, J Makoun; S Eto’o, A Emana, S Tchoyi.
Subs used : G Binya, M Idrissou, A Chedjou.
Bookings : R Kalaba (Zam); C Kameni, J Makoun, S Mbia (Cam).
Referee : K I Alghandi (KSA)
Attendance : 15000