Libya through to Chan semis

2014-01-27 00:00

A 4-2 PENALTY shoot-out win sent Libya into their first ever Caf African Nations Championship (Chan) semi-final after 120 minutes of action against Gabon at the Peter Mokaba Stadium yesterday finished 1-1.

The first 45 minutes was a rather timid affair in attack as both teams kept it tight at the back. Consequently, chances on goal were few and far between.

Gabon started the brighter of the two teams and created the first chance of the game in the second minute after Romuald Ewouta Entsitsigui made his way down the left flank before cutting inside and seeing his powerful shot well-saved.

The rest of the half saw both teams squandering possession as neither could hold onto the ball long enough to sustain a period of pressure that would create a chance on goal.

The half ended 0-0.

The start of the second 45 saw Gabon with the lion’s share of possession in front of the Libyan goal. In the 50th minute, very much against the run of play, a swift counter-attack by Libya saw Abdelsalam Omar through on goal and he showed composure under pressure as he lobbed the on-rushing goalkeeper from just outside the box to lead 1-0.

Gabon tried to fight their way back into the match, but could not create any decent openings in front of goal as Libya’s defence held firm for the large part.

Finally, in the 72nd minute Gabon were rewarded for their pressure when Fetori pulled Lionel Yackouya down inside the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Daniel Cousin then restored parity for Gabon with a cool finish to equalise.

Neither team could find the winner as the match ended 1-1 and moved into 30 minutes of extra-time.

Libya were bitterly unlucky not to take the lead in extra time after a thunderous 24-yard shot from Mohamed Ghanudi struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced away from danger in the 102nd minute.

Neither side could break the deadlock as the game finished 1-1 after 120 minutes of action and moved into the lottery of the penalty shoot-out. Libya were perfect in the shoot-out and did not miss a spot-kick as they ran out 4-2 winners on penalties.

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