Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia join Cameroon to semis
A panoramic photo for Tanger Hall in he third day

A panoramic photo for Tanger Hall in he third day

27 September 2011

 Tanger, Morocco, September 25, 2011- Defending champions Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia completed the final 4 fixtures at the end of the first round of the 2011 Men’s African Nations Championship held here at Tanger, Morocco on Sunday. The three teams joined the already qualified Cameroon after the latter secured their qualification on the second day. Heavy favorites Cameroon take on Algeria and Egypt face Tunisia in the semifinal matches on Tuesday.

 On the other hand Morocco line up against South Africa and Congo Brazzaville combat Botswana in the play off 5 to 8 standings.
 The third day featured a third victory for Cameroon in Pool A over Botswana 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16) to lead the pool, while Tunisia came second after they trounced the host Morocco 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-19). 

 Egypt led pool B with the full win- loss record of 3-0 following their victory against Congo Brazzaville in straight sets (25-16, 25-18, 27-25) and were joined to the semis by Algeria who set their second win against the winless South Africa 3-0 (25-18, 25-7, 25-16).

 The third day was attended by 3000 spectators who supported Morocco dreams of having a semifinal berth, but they left disappointed by their team’s performance.

Pool A

Cameroon beat Botswana 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16)

 The All Africa Games gold medalists Cameroon had to fight hardly for 96 minutes to pull off a difficult victory over Botswana 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16). The Cameroon coach replaced some standing players to give them rest before the semifinal and his team started very well but the performance decreased thereafter to lose the third set after Botswana used their efficient quick attacks. 

 Cameroon started the match very concentrated and they succeeded to win the first set 25-17 due to the skillful combinations led by the setter Ahmed Mbutgam who succeeded to deceive the Botswana blockers. The second set showed big fight from Botswana specially the middle blockers Francis Dingwe and Happy Ribbin. After Cameroon had a big lead at the start, Botswana struggled in defense to come near until Cameroon hardly won the set 25-23.

 With the less experience of Cameroon substitutes Botswana’s outside hitter Odirile Sibanda and the opposite attacker Tabaka Mothudi did good job in scoring a lot of points through their sharp spikes from the wings until they won the set 25-23.
 Again Cameroon players take it seriously to win the fourth set 25-16 after they arranged their attacks through David Feughoud in position 2 and Jean Ndongo in position 4 to win the match 3-1. 

Tunisia beat Morocco 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-19)

 Tunisia used the experience of their setter Mahdi Ben Cheikh and Noureddine Hfaied to clinch the second victory in Pool A against the host Morocco 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-19) in front of 3000 supporters.

 Tunisia improved their record to 2-1 to finish second of the pool and qualify to the semifinal while Morocco dropped to 1-2 to be ranked third and play for the 5 to 8 positions.

 Tunisia showed a good start with their outside hitter Ismail Moalla doing a good job in spiking and Ahmed Kadhi in blocking as Tunisia went ahead 8-6 at the first TTO. Morocco improved their blocking through Mohssine Berdade to stay near until Tunisia won the set 25-23.

 The second set showed a lot of controversy as Morocco started leading till 6-2 when the Tunisian opposite Marouen Garci spiked well from position 2 aided by Moalla in position 4 so they draw 14-14. Tunisia scored 8 successive points in their way to lead 22-14 before they won the set 25-16.

 The third set went point by point till Tunisia used the reception mistakes done by the Moroccan players to win the set 25-19 and the match 3-0. 
Pool B

Egypt beat Congo Brazzaville 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 27-25)

 With a mixture between the standing players and some substitutes, Egypt continued their clean sheet as they flew past Congo Brazzaville 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 27-25) in 68 minutes.

 Egypt finished the pool matches with the full score with a win- loss ratio of 3-0 to lead Pool B and secure a semifinal ticket while Congo dropped to 1-2 to finish third and play for the 5 to 8 rankings.

 Egypt started the match with the main line up and used as usual their talents to pick up a wide win in the first set. Congo started to enter the match in the second set through the work of their blockers Ngampourou and Dallet Kouka as they stayed near till Egypt won the set 25-18. the third set showed emergence of Congo team through their captain Gildas Kouehassazo who performed very well in spiking from position 2 and Congo was ahead 24-22 but they missed two set points before they lost narrowly 27-25 after some combinations led by the setter Ashraf Aboul Hassan. 

Algeria beat South Africa 3-0 (25-18, 25-7, 25-16)
 Playing with some of the substitutes the Algerian team was more motivated to set their second victory in pool B against South Africa in straight sets (25-18, 25-7, 25-16) in only 59 minutes.

 Algeria improved their win- loss record to 2-1 to finish second of the pool and qualify to the semifinal, while South Africa become 0-3 to finish at the bottom of the pool to play for the 5 to 8 brackets.

 The Algerian coach changed his main line up and played with the second team to allow the main players to rest before the semifinal and to give the chance to the bench players. Algeria advanced steadily form the first set through their strong spike service that was the key factor to win the set 25-18. The second set showed full Algerian dominance through the hits of Toufik Mahdjoubi and Massinissa Azem. The third set went the same but with more resistance from the South Africans who improve their reception relatively to come near till they lost the set 25-16.

Results Day 3
Pool A

Cameroon v Botswana 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16)
Tunisia v Morocco 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-19)
Pool B

Algeria v South Africa 3-0 (25-18, 25-7, 25-16)

Egypt v Congo Brazzaville 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 27-25)

Semifinal Program on September 27
Semifinal 1-4

Cameroon v Algeria

Egypt v Tunisia

Play off 5-8

Morocco v South Africa

Congo Brazzaville v Botswana