Tunisia and Cameroon played out to an entertaining 0-0 draw in Rades with both sides wasting numerous opportunities, and Indomitable Lions goalkeeper Charles Itandje putting in a wonderful performance between the posts.
Within 30 seconds of the game starting Tunisia’s Chikaoui smacked an effort from the edge of the area but Cameroon goalkeeper Itandje was able to beat the ball away.
The home side got off to a strong start and put Cameroon under pressure from the first whistle, with Itandje having to make another point blank save from a Houcine Ragued header with only four minutes played.
Cameroon eventually got their first shot at goal after just 10 minutes into the game when Samuel Eto'o tried from range, but his shot was deflected and Ben Cherifia gathered comfortably.
Itandje was single-handedly keeping Volker Finks men in this game, saving smartly when Wissem Ben Yahia struck a ferocious swerving effort but the Koyaspor shot-stopper was able to tip over.
Tunisia again came close when another header by the home side’s Chikaoui was saved by Cameroon’s in-form goalkeeper.
The away side grew in confidence as the game wore on and 30 minutes in Joel Matip tried a low drive from outside the box but Ben Cherifia was able to gather it easily.
Tunisia’s substitute Ben Youssef had the best chance to open the scoring in the second-half when he got on the end of a great cross by Derbaly but his header was off target.
Cameroon then almost grabbed the opener themselves as Joel Matip found space following some neat play by Alex Song and Makoun, but Ben Cherfia able to clear with his legs in the Tunisian goal following the Schalke forward’s timid shot.
Pierre Webo then definitely had the miss of the match following a game of many missed chances. The Fenerbache forward had the goal gaping but with the ball coming at an awkward height he bundled the ball behind with his midriff.
Rud Krol would have been disappointed that his team had not been able to take at least one of the many chances created, but to be fair both teams could have walked away with a victory. This was the first goalless draw in the African play-offs of World Cup qualification.
Cameroon will be confident when they host Tunisia in the return leg and will also be hoping to have their keeper Itandje in similar form after a man of the match performance.
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