All four group leaders – Guinea, DR Congo, Morocco and hosts Cameroon – were held to draws in the second round of matches in the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Saturday’s games in Limbe in Group D started with Zambia’s 1-1 draw with Guinea.
Victor Kantabadouna had put Guinea ahead on 58 minutes, but an 87th-minute equaliser by Spencer Sautu evened things up for Zambia and left both teams tied at the top of the group on four points each.
Meanwhile a second-half Farid Mussa goal secured Tanzania a 1-0 win over Namibia – but the match will be noted more for the officials in charge than the result.
For the first time, an all-female refereeing team took charge of a men’s game at a Confederation of African Football championship.
The female refereeing trio of referee Lidya Tafesse from Ethiopia and assistant referees Bernadettar Asimenye Kwimbira of Malawi) and Mimisen Agatha Iyorhe of Nigeria presided over a lively enough game in Limbe, but one that echoed the generally goal-shy theme of the tournament so far.
It also meant that Namibia were eliminated, with no chance to make the top two places in the group.
Anyone can still make it through from Group C, however – although Morocco lead the way. They are on four points after a 0-0 draw with Rwanda in Douala on Friday.
Behind them are Togo, who recovered from defeat to the Atlas Lions in the opening match to beat Uganda comprehensively 2-1, goals for Semiou Tchatakora and Yendoutie Nane sandwiching Saidi Kyeyune’s effort for the Cranes.
In Group B, DR Congo equalised in the fourth minute of injury time against Libya. Libya had gone ahead in the 6th minute – and then defended for nearly 90 only to concede at the end Amede Masasi
Had they held on, the win would have put Libya in a strong position in the group – but as it is, they sit third, behind Niger, who drew 1-1 with Congo.
Congo still have a slim chance of going through if they win their final match, against Libya.
But definitely out are Zimbabwe, who are bottom of Group A on zero points after a comprehensive 3-1 defeat to Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso scored early on through Issouf Sosso. Zimbabwe managed to get level thanks to Patson Jaure but two second-half goals from Clever Tiendrebeogo and Issiaka Ouedraogo made it very comfortable for the Burkinabe team.
It gives them hope of making it through despite still only being third after group leaders Cameroon and Mali shared a point after a 1-1 draw.
Cameroon scored after just six minutes through Salomon Charles Banga, but just six minutes later Mali’s Issaka Samake equalised.