A game that looked destined for the drama of penalties instead delivered more than enough theater as both Algeria and Cameroon scored would-be late winners in extra time of their World Cup qualifying playoff second leg on Tuesday.
Level on aggregate from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s 22nd-minute strike, Algeria looked the more likely to make the home fans’ night a beautiful one but Andre Onana made 10 saves on the evening.
It was level after 90. Level after 105. Level after 115.
No more. Ahmed Touba pushed a 118th-minute goal past Onana to give Algeria a foot over the Red Sea and into Qatar, but hold on!
Karl Toko Ekambi followed the flick of a free kick in the fourth minute of extra time in stoppage time and sent Cameroon into an eighth World Cup.
Cameroon was joined by Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, and Morocco as Africa’s five entrants into the winter’s tournament in Qatar. Senegal’s berth was… controversial.
It’s been a tough year for Cameroon, which saw fans killed during a stampede outside one of its Africa Cup of Nations matches in January. Federation leader and national legend Samuel Eto’o has been trying to steady the ship since even before that time. This will help a great deal.
Karl Toko Ekambi.
Love his name.
Love his game.
Love this goal…
…which sends Cameroon to the World Cup on the very last play before the final whistle.
— Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) March 29, 2022