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WC Qualification Africa
13 October 2013
• Stade Olympique de Radès, Radès
Referee: K. Coulibaly
• Attendance: 30900
That's it from me, Harry Slavin. Thanks for joining me this evening and we'll be back with coverage of the second legs for the African World Cup qualifiers in November. Until then though, goodbye!
FULL-TIME: TUNISIA 0-0 CAMEROON. No goals in Rades but it wasn't for the lack of trying from either team. Tunisia started like a team on a mission, but a mixture of poor finishing and Itandje prevents them from taking a lead to Cameroon in November. It could have been worse for them had Webo connected properly with Nyom's cross in the second half.
90' + 3'
Idrissou heads behind for a Tunisia goal kick. I reckon that will just about do us.
90' + 1'
The substitution has indeed been made as Eric Choupo Moting comes on for the final seconds. We are into three minutes of stoppage time.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
A bit of confusion as to whether Eto'o is off or not. The numbers were held up for a substitution but the Chelsea man is on the far side of the field looking to get back on!
Gamesmanship from the visitors now as Samuel Eto'o goes to ground clutching his leg. It looks like nothing more than a bit of cramp but on comes the stretcher and mini-kart to wheel him off.
Yellow Card Hocine Ragued
Moments ago, Cameroon had an attack down the left that was dealt with by Sameh Derbaly. It looked like all was above board at the time. TV replays though have just suggested that right-back had handled in the area. A big let off for the hosts there.
Wissem Ben Yahia is charged with delivering the set piece but it's a woeful cross and it goes sailing over the bar. A real waste.
Now then, this might be the chance. Tunisia have a free kick on the left-hand edge of the area and all the big guns from the back are up.
Final role of the dice from Krol as he sends on Ben Hatira for the final moments. He replaces Chikhaoui, who has put in a tireless performance for the hosts this evening.
The game is becoming more stretched as both sides begin to tire. There is space opening up but can either side make anything of it?
We are just about to head into the final 10 minutes. Still no sign of that opening goal. Any goal now would have a huge bearing on who goes to the World Cup next year.
Jean II Makoun
A second change for Cameroon too now, as Mohamadou Idrissou comes on for Jean Makoun. Possibly a smart move considering the Rennes man was a whisker away from being sent off just moments ago.
Mohamed Amine Chermiti
Second substitution of the evening for Tunisia. Amine Chermiti is withdrawn and Issam Jomaa is brought on in his place.
Makoun has actually just had a lucky escape. The midfielder has already been booked and Coulibaly definitely thought for a second about brandishing a second yellow for putting the ball in the net. Thankfully though, common sense prevails and the referee keeps his cards in his pocket.
Cameroon have the ball in the net but it won't count as referee Coulibaly spots a foul in the build up as Makoun finds the bottom corner.
That was Nyom's last bit of action this evening as he is replaced by Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik.
WEBO!!! We've had some bad misses already tonight but this tops the lot. Nyom embarks on a dangerous overlapping run and when he is fed the ball, his low cross is palmed into the path of Webo by the keeper Ben Cherifia. The Fenerbache forward is left with a tap in, but with the ball at an awkward height, he doesn't know whether to throw his head or foot at it, in the end bundling the ball behind with his midriff. A bad miss.
Tunisia have constantly threatened from set pieces and crosses tonight but they just cannot find that breakthrough. Cameroon just haven't been able to deal with the ball in the air in and around their box. You feel if the hosts are to score, it could come from a header.
YAHIA!!! The centre-back gets above everyone else in the area to power a header on goal. It's straight at Itandje though who is able to beat the ball away. Yassin Mikari then blasts over from the edge of the area as he picks up the loose ball.
Joel Matip joins Allan Nyom in the book after a clumsy tackle in midfield. We are into the last half an hour now and we're still awaiting that first goal. Are we going to see one?
Yellow Card Joel Matip
MATIP!!! The three in the middle for Cameroon link up beautifully on the edge of the area as Song and Makoun neatly exchange passes to set up the overlapping Matip. The Schalke man hits his effort first time, but his effort is pretty timid, with Ben Cherfia able to clear with his legs in the Tunisian goal.
It hasn't really been a game for counter-attacking, but it has become a lot more stretched in this second period and suddenly there is room for the visitors. Jean Makoun finds Nyom with a floated ball to the right, but Syam Ben Yousseff is back to snuff out the danger.
HE HAS TO SCORE!! Derbaly sends in an inviting cross from the left and it's met by Ben Youssef in the six-yard box. The substitute plants his header towards goal but misses the target, when he should have been doing a lot better.
It looks like there was actually an important from Chedjou on the ball as Chermiti ran in on goal there that caused the poor touch from the striker. The definition of last-ditch.
Itandje again keeps Tunisia out! A through-ball is rushed onto by Amine Chermiti but his touch is a little heavy and the Cameroon keeper is alert enough to rush out and the knock ball away from the feet of the advancing forward.
A fan tries, and fails, to make it onto the pitch. He's stopped before he can reach any of the players but it's still enough of a disruption to hold up play for a matter of seconds. Top stewarding from the Stade Olympique de Rades officials though.
Cameroon are looking to make their seventh World Cup finals in Brazil, while Tunisia are looking to make their fifth. As things stand at the moment, you have to feel it would Cameroon's hopes that look a little brighter if they could come away with a draw.
Fakhereedine Ben Youssef
We're back underway in Rades. Still no confirmation as to who has come off for Tunisia but it looks as though Allagui hasn't come out for the second period. In any case, Ben Youssef is definitely on.
The teams are back out for the second half. It looks as though Tunisia are ready to make a change at the break. Ben Yousseff is ready to come on for the hosts.
There hasn't been a goalless draw in the African play-offs this far and I don't think this is going to end without any goalmouth action either. Tunisia have looked dangerous, but if Eto'o can get a sight of goal, you would never bet against him.
HALF-TIME TUNISIA 0-0 CAMEROON. It's goalless at the break, but it's not for the lack of trying, especially on Tunisia's part. Itandje had to be on top form to keep the hosts at bay in the opening 20 minutes, but Finke's Lions have responded well and were perhaps the stronger by the end of the half.
Into the final minute of the first half we go. There is one minute of stoppage time for both sides to negotiate.
Eto'o looks as if he may even be starting to enjoy himself out there. He's felled by Ragued as he sets off on another run through the Tunisia half. He'll pick himself up to take this free kick too.
MAKOUN!!! That's the closest Cameroon have come so far. Eto'o does well down the left to get to the bye-line. His cut back then falls at the feet of Makoun who strikes the ball cleanly enough, but it ends up in the side-netting rather than the back of the net.
Almost a disastrous couple of minutes for Allan Nyom. The right-back is firstly booked for a late challenge on Allagui. Moments later he completely misses an interception, ducking under the ball, but luckily for the defender the linesman comes to his rescue by raising the flag for offside.
Yellow Card Allan Nyom
Joel Matip has been quiet for the visitors at the moment but he picks the ball up just outside the area and drives a low shot at goal, which Ben Cherifia gets behind easily.
Hetha Berlin's Sami Allagui shapes up to shot from a fair distance but catches it all wrong. He's off balance, and as a result, the shot is off target.
There have been a number of needless challenges flying in from the home side of the moment and they get away with one here as Eto'o is taken down after he picks out Webo. No need for retrospective action in the eyes of Coulibaly.
Another header over Itandje's bar, this time from Sami Allagui as Tunisia manage to find a bit of space down the left.
The home side have certainly dropped a little deeper now and that early bombardment on the Cameroon goals has noticable subsided. Tunisia's last two attacks have been hopeful punts forward. A sign that the tide is turning in this one perhaps?
Cameroon look to have settled a lot more now after that series of early scares. Eto'o drops deep to pick up the ball and slips through Pierre Webo. The striker is well tracked though and a deflection on his shot from an angle makes life a lot easier for Ben Cherifia.
And another! Sameh Derbaly goes right through the back of Eto'o on the left-hand flank, much to the disapproval of the Chelsea man. No booking is forthcoming though from Malian official Koman Coulibaly.
Saber Khalifa takes out Enoh Eyong with the first robust challenge we've seen this evening. That might spice things up a bit.
If you are a Tunisia fan, you must be a little bit worried, as well as pleased, by the way Rudd Krol's side have started. They've come firing out the blocks this evening but as yet have nothing to show for it. Can Eto'o & Co make them pay for their profligacy?
Another header and another let off for Cameroon! This time Chikaoui is denied by Itandje. The Koyaspor keeper is single-handedly keeping Volker Finke's side in this game at the moment.
What an effort from Wissem Ben Yahia!! The midfielder, who plays his domestic football in Turkey, shifts the ball onto his right foot and forces Itandje to tip his dipping effort over the bar. Still no joy for the hosts as yet.
Free kick at the other end now and it's Ragued once more who rises highest but nods wide of the Itandje's goal.
A free kick now for Cameroon in a promising position as they look to mount a response to Tunisia's fine start. Eto'o ignores the lasers in is eyes to swing in a dangerous delivery that Tunisia do well to get rid of.
Samuel Eto'o fires Cameroon's first effort goalwards but a deflection takes any sting out of the shot and Ben Cherifia gathers easily.
On the downside though, there have already been a number of those green laser pens shone in the eyes of Itandje this evening. Hopefully that will be dealt with by the stewards pretty sharpish. It's a horrible habit that's been picked up on by some fans and needs to be eradicated form stadiums.
It's not just the 11 Tunisian's on the pitch that the visitors have to contend with this evening. It's the thousands more in the stand too and they are making an almighty racket in response to their side's fantastic start.
More defending for Cameroon as Saber Khalifa gets in behind the back four on the left-hand side and sends a low ball across the face of goal. Aurelien Chedjou is in the right place though to stab the ball clear.
Another fantastic save from Itandje! Houcine Ragued rises highest to get his head on the ball and the Cameroon goalkeeper is forced into a point blank save.
What a start from the home side! They've got Cameroon up against the rope here as Makoun is forced to stick the ball behind for the first corner of the game here.
Cameroon kick off us off but are immediately put under the cosh! Chikaoui smacks an effort from the edge of the area but Charles Itandje is able to beat the ball away. That was inside the opening 30 seconds. A ferocious start from the home side.
The teams are out in Rades. Samuel Eto'o, after all the speculation surrounding his international future over the recent weeks, leads out the Indomitable Lions.
CAMEROON: (4-4-2) Itandje; Nyom, Chedjou, N'Koulou, Nounkeu; Matip, Eyong Enoh, Makoun, Song; Webo, Eto'o.
TUNISIA: (4-3-3) Ben Cherifia; Derbali, Yahia, Ben Youssef, Mikari; Ragued, Ben Yahia, Chikhaoui; Allagui, Chermiti, Khalifa.
We are less than 10 minutes away from kick off so here are the two starting elevens that will take to the field at the Stade Olympique de Rades.
The Eagles of Carthage's World Cup dreams lay in tatters after a 2-0 defeat to Cape Verde saw the Blue Sharks finish top of their qualification pool. But the presence of an illegible player on the field for the minnows saw the match awarded as a 3-0 walkover for Tunisia and propelled them to top spot in the group. Can they make the most of their good fortune against a Cameroon side still in disarray this evening?
Both sides are just two games away from booking a place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but it's not been the smoothest of passages for either side. Cameroon's build up to this match has been marred by the saga surrounding the return of captain Samuel Eto'o to the squad. Tunisia's road has been even more turbulent.
Good evening and warm welcome to the first-leg of the World cup play-off encounter between Tunisia and Cameroon. I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all this evening's action. Let's get cracking shall we?
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