Referee target of violence as unfancied team make it through to semifinals
African football hit dizzying heights before descending into violent farce on Saturday with the referee attacked after tiny Equatorial Guinea shocked Tunisia in a controversy-mired African Nations Cup quarterfinal.
A stunning opening tie between the two Congos, which produced six goals at Estadio de Bata, set up an evening of much promise, but the on-field drama of the second quarterfinal was overshadowed by ugly scenes as the referee was punched and kicked by incensed Tunisian players.
They were livid with perceived referee injustice after Equatorial Guinea, one of the continent’s smallest countries and emergency hosts of the tournament, produced one of the great upsets in Nations Cup history by claiming a 2-1 win after extra time.
They moved into the last four with Democratic Republic of Congo, who came from two down to beat northern neighbours Congo 4-2 in a sparkling first quarterfinal.
– Mark Gleeson
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