Eurosport - Mon, 25 Jan 15:37:00 2010
Ahmed Hassan's controversial free-kick sealed Egypt's 3-1 extra time win over Cameroon to set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Algeria.
Cameroon dominated possession for long periods but were forced into extra time after Hassan made amends for an own-goal with his first of the night.
And, after Mohamed Gedo had put the defending champions in front for the first time in the night, Hassan gave Egypt an unassailable lead with a free-kick which did not cross the line.
Cameroon won a host of corners early on but failed to take advantage with Emana being particularly wasteful.
But the midfielder's persistence paid off when he whipped in another corner to the front past and Hassan, instead of clearing, nodded into his own net.
The game marked Hassan's 170th cap for Egypt, making him Africa's most capped player, and it looked to be an appearance the captain would soon want to forget.
But 11 minutes after scoring at the wrong end, Hassan made amends at the other in spectacular fashion.
The Al-Ahly midfielder picked up the ball in Cameroon's half before striding forward and unleashing a 30-yard strike past the flapping Carlos Kameni.
That gave six-time champions Egypt some momentum after a shaky start and Emad Moteab missed two chances in as many minutes after the break with only Kameni to beat.
But, in a second half punctuated by fouls, that was as far as Egypt's attacking threat went with Cameroon in the ascendency.
Paul Le Guen's World Cup bound side have struggled for form in Angola, only qualifying for the quarter-finals courtesy of having a better goals scored record than Gabon.
The four-time winners were made to rue those missed opportunities when Gedo took advantage of a weak Geremi back pass two minutes into extra time to slot the ball home.
And Hassan completed his transformation from zero to hero when his 25-yard free-kick was tipped on to the bar by Kameni, bounced down six inches in front of the line but was given as a goal by referee Damon Jerome.
Victory for Egypt, seeking a third successive Cup of Nations title, means The Pharaohs meet Algeria in the last four, a rematch of the World Cup play-off which saw Algeria secure a place in South Africa.
African Cup of Nations: Watch the semi-finals LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521) and Eurosport Player at 3:45pm and 7:15pm on Thursday with the final LIVE on Sunday from 3.45pm.