African duo reach Marseille

After two very exciting semi-finals in Durban on Saturday, we now know who will be the two African representatives at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Marseille 2008 n July.

Cameroon and Senegal were too strong for their opponents Egypt and Côte d'Ivoire and can already start dreaming about the French Riviera.

Cameroon and Egypt gave the crowd what they came to the stadium for, a very exciting first semi-final where the former again displayed their superiority at this year's African qualifying event. The Beach Lions won 4-3, thereby qualifing for the final and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

"We had to do the job without our top scorer Batoum who was suspended today," said Cameroon captain Abissonono. "He was very disappointed that he couldn't play in this important game. He has been a big part of this team and helped us a lot to get where we are today. We've won this for him and for the entire nation. We're ready for Marseille."

After finishing third and fourth in the two previous editions of the African qualifying event for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, Côte d'Ivoire once again failed to qualify for the global showpiece. Senegal beat them 6-5 on penalties in the most nerve-wracking match of the tournament.

Senegal vice-captain Ba was elated following the win. "Our only goal was to qualify for the World Cup and today we had to use all our strengths to do so," he said. "Our friends from Côte d'Ivoire made it very hard for us, I think they deserved to go through as much as we did, but God was on our side today. Marseille here we come!"

The two winners will meet in Sunday's final to see who are the 2008 African Champions, but what means more to the two victors is a place in July's world showpiece event.