BATA, Equatorial Guinea, February 3 – The 58-year history of the Africa Cup of Nations is littered with dramatic knockout matches and AFP sport recalls five semi-final thrillers:
1972: Mali 4 Zaire 3
Debutants Mali trailed, led and were pegged back to 3-3 in Cameroon port city Douala before clinching victory over former champions Zaire early in extra-time through a second goal of the game from Fantamady Keita.
1982: Ghana 3 Algeria 2
A Ghana side including star-to-be Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew clawed back from two goals behind to equalise in the final minute through Opoku Nti and win with a George Alhassan extra-time strike in Libyan city Benghazi.
1996: Tunisia 4 Zambia 2
Kalusha Bwalya-inspired Zambia were the hottest of favourites to win in South African port city Durban only to be stunned by 1994 flops Tunisia with Adel Sellimi bagging a brace, including the late victory-sealing penalty.
2006: Egypt 2 Senegal 1
A see-saw Cairo struggle was settled by a late goal from Ahmed Zaki, whose second-half introduction triggered a touchline storm as substituted Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam argued furiously with coach Hassan Shehata.
2013: Burkina Faso 1 Ghana 1 (3-2 penalties)
Aristide Bance equalised and converted the decisive shootout penalty as pre-tournament no-hopers Burkina Faso completed a fairy-tale passage to the final by eliminating four-time champions Ghana in South African city Nelspruit.