x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

‘Brazil, here we come’ Eto’o tells Cameroon

With a 4-1 win over Tunisia on Sunday, Cameroon advanced to their seventh World Cup finals.

Samuel Eto'o celebrating after Cameroon advanced to their seventh World Cup on Sunday. AFP Photo
Samuel Eto'o celebrating after Cameroon advanced to their seventh World Cup on Sunday. AFP Photo

YAOUNDE, Cameroon // Cameroon qualified for the World Cup with a resounding 4-1 win over Tunisia in the second leg of their play-off on Sunday, ensuring West Africa continued its dominance of the continent’s qualifying competition.

Cameroon won by the same score on aggregate after the teams drew 0-0 in Tunisia. They follow Nigeria and Ivory Coast, who won their play-offs Saturday, in sealing a place at next year’s tournament in Brazil.

Pierre Webo scored after four minutes for Cameroon and Benjamin Moundandjo made it 2-0 in the 30th at Omnisports Ahmadou-Ahidjo stadium. Ahmed Akaichi pulled one back for the visiting Tunisians just after halftime, but Jean Makoun added a third in the 65th and scored again in the 86th to seal Cameroon’s progress.

“Brazil, here we come,” Cameroon captain Samuel Eto’o, who reversed his decision to retire from internationals to play in this play-off, told the crowd through a public address system after the game.

Cameroon, Africa’s first quarterfinalist in 1990, will play in their seventh World Cup, a major boost for the nation after it failed to qualify for the last two African Cups.

“We’ve been through several long and difficult years,” Makoun said. “Now, I think we identified the problem, which is concord among us. We can achieve better results in the future and I think our performance today shows that we have a bright future.”

If Ghana and Algeria win their play-offs on Tuesday, as expected, the continent will be represented by the same five nations that played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, minus the hosts from that tournament.

Webo slammed home a left-footed shot in front of around 60,000 in Yaounde for an immediate lead for Cameroon. The home team was also denied a penalty for what appeared to be a clear handball before Moundandjo made it 2-0 after cutting in from the right flank to score.

After being brought on by Tunisia coach Ruud Krol, Akaichi struck after a defensive mix-up by the Cameroonians for 2-1 straight after the break.

But Cameroon powered back as Makoun headed home a Benoit Assou-Ekotto corner and grabbed a second in the final five minutes after a shot rebounded off the post.