Angola defeated hosts and favourites Sudan on penalties after a stormy 1-1 draw on Tuesday and secured a place in the African Nations Championship final against Tunisia.
The Tunisians also needed a shootout after another 1-1 deadlock following extra time before eliminating neighbours Algeria and reaching the climax of the biennial tournament for home-based footballers.
Angola won 4-2 on penalties and Tunisia 5-3 to set up a repeat of a Group D clash in Port Sudan which was drawn when the southern Africa nation scored deep in stoppage time.
Sudanese supporters who packed the 42 000-capacity Al-Merreikh Stadium in Omdurman saw hopes of a first Pan-African title since the 1970 Cup of Nations triumph evaporate as Mohamed Tahir and Mudathir Eltaib failed from the spot.
Angola converted four of five kicks with Masunguna “Dani” Afonso netting the penalty that took his team into the final on Friday despite winning just one of five matches in the tournament.
Sudan dominated the first half and moved ahead in stoppage time when Saifeldin Ali Idris scored off a corner before an audience including Fifa boss Sepp Blatter, Uefa counterpart Michel Platini and AFC ruler Mohamed Bin Hammam.
The three football “heavyweights” are in the vast East African country for a Confederation of African Football general assembly on Wednesday with places on the Fifa and CAF executive committees up for grabs.
Although often back pedalling, the physically and mentally tough Angolans levelled after 71 minutes when a glancing header from substitute Arsenio “Love” Cabungula steered an Osorio Carvalho free kick into the net.
Some of the crowd reacted by pelting stones and rocks on to the field and they did so again deep in extra time when Angolan goalkeeper Luis “Lama” Joao was wasting time.
Tempers also flared on the pitch after the equaliser with Sudan goalkeeper Baha Eldin escaping punishment when he injured the impressive Regio “Mingo Bille” Zalata with a kung fu-style kick.
Sudan skipper Haitham Mostafa was less fortunate 23 minutes into extra time when he elbowed an opponent and this time the Ivory Coast referee flashed a red card.
Tunisia scored from all five mandatory penalties at Khartoum Stadium with Khaled Korbi converting the crucial last one after Hocine Metref failed to net his attempt with Algeria 4-3 behind.
Slama Gasdaoui put the Tunisians ahead on 18 minutes with his third goal of the championship as he stabbed a low cross from the left past goalkeeper Mohamed Zemmamouche.
Algeria introduced “super sub” Hadj Aissa nine minutes into the second half and persistent pressure paid dividends on 62 minutes when Abdelmoumene Djabou scored via a long-range shot.
Tired legs and minds meant extra time produced few chances to break the stalemate and both sides settled for a shootout long before the Mauritian referee blew for full-time. —Reuters