Bamako:Defending champion Cameroon beat Mali 3-0 while Senegal upset Nigeria 2-1 in extra time to advance to the African Cup of Nations football final in Bamako in Mali. The first semi-final of the African Cup between Senegal and Nigeria was a controversial one with three players being sent off. The first to go was Senegalese Pape Sarr for violent conduct. The opening goal came only in the second half, when a powerful header by Pape Bouba Diop beat the Nigerian defence. With barely two minutes to go, Julius Aghahowa made the most of a defensive mix-up to equalise for Nigeria. But as it turned out, his joy was shortlived. Alissane Diao restored Senegal's lead seven minutes into extra time to make it 2-1 for Senegal. With two Nigerians being sent off in the final ten minutes, Senegal held on to qualify for their first final in the African Cup of Nations. Cameroon beat Mali Salomon Olembe starred for Cameroon as his two goals helped the defending champions beat hosts Mali 3-0 in the second semi-final. Cameroon striker Pius Ndiefi set a scorching pace from the beginning as he broke into the home defence and set up Olembe for an easy finish. It got worse for the home fans just before half time. This time the Ndiefi-Olembe combination with some excellent passing and returning skills made it 2-0. The second half was a story of missed opportunities for Mali to just open their score and for Cameroon to score some more! Marc Vivien Foe scored the third goal in the 84th minute, beating the Mali keeper and tapping the ball into an empty net. With the score at 3-0, it was an emphatic victory for Cameroon. Cameroon will now play Senegal in the final on Sunday.
Topics : Football