The first game of matchday 4 at the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon on Wednesday was filled with drama and chaos.
Zambian centre-referee Janny Sikazwe made headlines after twice ending the game earlier than expected. The first incident happened when he signalled full time in the 85th minute before ending the match for the second time in the 89th minute with 13seconds left to the full 90.
At least three minutes of added time were expected due to the water breaks and two VAR interventions.
However, Tunisia were furious with the occurrence as the substitute players and coaching crew ran onto the pitch confronting the match officials.
There was a twist that saw the players who had gone into the tunnel ordered to return to the pitch tournament by the organizers. The Malians did, but the Tunisians refused to return then the Malians were announced 1-0 winners.
Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier while stating his grievances after the match, stated that the incidence were inexplicable.
“He blew for full time and asked us to go to the dressing room, so the players were in their ice baths, and then he asked us to come back out. In 30 years in this business, I have never seen anything like it.” Kebaier said.
Meanwhile, in the other games played on Wednesday evening, debutant the Gambia got off to a winning start against Mauritania with a 1-0 win. The West Africans took an early lead in the game through Ablie Jallow in the tenth minute.
Also, Ivory Coast beat Equatorial Guinea with a single goal scored by Max Gradel in the fifth minute of the game. The 2015 champions had to endure a nervy end to the game.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, it’s Cameroon facing Ethiopia in their second group, while Cape Verde will play Burkina Faso.
Written by: Daniel Ademiju Idowu