Africa: Egypt's dramatic late goal sets up extra play-off

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The Independent Football

Egypt v Algeria

A game riddled with tension got the ending it deserved on Saturday when Egypt scored the goal they needed to force a play-off five minutes into injury time. The two sides will now meet again on Wednesday to settle the last of Africa's qualifying places after a dramatic late goal gave the home side a 2-0 win in their last group game on Saturday.

Substitute Emad Moteab's header five minutes into stoppage time gave Egypt the winning margin they needed over Algeria in front of just over 74,000 fans in the capital and ensured the teams finished level at the top of Group C. Fifa determined last week the two teams would play-off in Sudan if the group was deadlocked.

Algeria were a minute away from reaching their first World Cup finals appearance in 24 years when Moteab struck with a looping header at the back post. A 1-0 defeat would have seen the Desert Foxes through to the finals in South Africa on goal difference. Egypt needed to win by three clear goals to qualify for the first time since 1990.

The dramatic end replicated a furious start as the Pharaohs took the lead after just two minutes through striker Amr Zaki. He followed up after Mohamed Aboutrika hit a post and Mohamed Zidan's follow-up was palmed away Algeria goalkeeper Lounes Gaouaoui.

The match was preceded by an attack on the Algeria team bus by Egyptian youths in which three players suffered facial cuts. Fifa had to appeal for calm while the Egyptian football association claimed the incident was staged by the Algerians.



Kenya v Nigeria

Nigeria staged a second-half comeback to beat Kenya on Saturday and deny Tunisia a place in South Africa. Obafemi Martins scored twice and Yakubu got the other as Nigeria came from behind to beat Kenya 3-2 in Nairobi while Tunisia lost 1-0 to a late goal in Mozambique after starting the final round of matches two points clear in Group B.

Nigeria leapfrogged Tunisia to win the group by a point and qualify for the World Cup for a fourth time. The Super Eagles trailed to a 15th-minute goal from Denis Oliech, but the group was turned on its head in the second half of both matches, which were played simultaneously. Martins grabbed the winner for Nigeria in the 83rd minute at about the same time as Dario Monteiro scored Mozambique's goal in Maputo.



Morocco v Cameroon

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen said he would seek to sign an extension to his contract after helping the Indomitable Lions secure an African-record sixth World Cup finals appearance.

The Frenchman was on a short term deal which expired on Saturday after the 2-0 win over Morocco in Fes sealed his team's qualification. "I would like to continue and if this is also the sentiment of the Cameroon football leaders, then I will. It is very likely," Le Guen said.

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