Libya through to Chan semis
Posted: 26 January 2014 Time: 19:50
Libya are through to the African Nations Championship semi-finals after beating Gabon 4-2 on penalties on Sunday evening.
The quarter-final match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday finished 1-1 following 120 minutes of action. Libya kept their nerve in the shoot-out to secure progress to the last four.
The opening half did not produce tons of goalmouth action as both teams struggled in attack.
Neither side could gain the ascendancy as both squandered possession with some poor passing and bad decision making in the final third.
The match started positively, though, as the first chance on goal came as early as the second minute after Romuald Ewouta Entsitsigui tried his luck from an acute angle on the left, but he saw his shot saved by the Libyan keeper.
The closest Gabon came to finding the back of the net arrived in the 14th minute after Samson Mbingui hit the woodwork with a 22-yard free-kick.
A mistake in defence afforded Libya their first opening in front of goal in the 15th minute after Almoatasembellah Ali Mohamed found himself with just the keeper to beat, but his 16-yard shot skimmed the wrong side of the post.
Besides from that there were very few clear-cut chances in front of goal in the opening 45 minutes.
However, we only had to wait five minutes into the second half before we saw the game’s opening goal.
A clever ball over the top of the Gabon defence saw Abdelsalam Omar break through on goal where he proceeded to cleverly lob the onrushing goalkeeper to give Libya the lead, 1-0.
Despite going behind Gabon took the ascendancy as they went in search of the equaliser and were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty in the 72nd minute after the referee adjudged Abdelrahman Fetori to have pulled down Lionel Yackouya inside the box.
Second-half substitute Daniel Cousin converted from the spot to make it 1-1.
Neither side could go on to find the winner in regular time as the match ended all-square and moved into extra time.
Libya had the better of extra time and saw a 24-yard effort from Mohamed Ghanudi strike the underside of the crossbar in the 102nd minute.
Only a great save from the Gabon keeper kept the scores level in the 107th minute when he denied Fetori from an acute angle 18-yards out.
Neither side could break the deadlock as the game finished 1-1 after 120 minutes of action and moved into a dreaded penalty shoot-out, which Libya won 4-2.
Penalty shoot-out sequence:
Libya – Faisal Mansour Ali – scores
Gabon – Cyrile Avebe – scores
Libya – Mohamed Ghanudi – scores
Gabon – Alain Djissikadie – misses
Libya – Elmutasem Abushnaf – scores
Gabon – Daniel Cousin – scores
Libya – Muataz Mahde Fadel – scores
Gabon – Bonaventure Sokambi – misses