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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008, 19:29 GMT
Eto'o goal record
By Piers Edwards,
BBC Sport, Accra

Samuel Eto'o (right) tussles with Abdel Meneim Ibrahim Fathy of Egypt
At the age of 26, how many goals can Eto'o extend the record by?
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o has time on his side as he looks toward setting a new Africa Cup of Nations goalscoring record.

His penalty strike against Zambia in Kumasi on Saturday equalled the tally of Ivorian Laurent Pokou.

Eto'o, three-time African Footballer of the Year, has the rest of this tournament to surpass the 14-goal mark.

And at the age of 26, the Barcelona marksman will surely be back for more Nations Cup action in the future.

He wasted no time in drawing level with the record, scoring two goals against Egypt in Cameroon's opening game, followed by the goal against Zambia.

But there are stark contrasts in the manner that the two men reached the record total.

The Ivorian striker struck his 14 goals in just two tournaments, while Eto'o's haul has come from five Nations Cups.

Pokou netted six in Ethiopia in 1968 before following with eight more in Sudan two years later.

There is a neat symmetry to the Cameroonian's feat, since it was in Ghana that he opened his Nations Cup account eight years ago.

Ironically, the Indomitable Lion struck his first goal against Ivory Coast in a 3-0 group win - as though he were hunting down Pokou's record from the start.

As Cameroon marched to the title, the then 18-year-old claimed a full house of goals with strikes in the group stages, the quarters, semis and the final against Nigeria as well.

Cameroon successfully defended their trophy at Mali 2002, yet Eto'o was a more peripheral figure as he scored just once - against Togo in the group stages.

The slow crawl to Pokou's 38-year record continued at Tunisia 2004 where the Cameroonian had to rely on a sole strike in the 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Nigeria.

Yet the Indomitable Lion has been on fire in the last two tournaments, scoring seven times in just five matches.

At Egypt 2006, he opened with a hat-trick against Angola, followed by strikes against both Togo and DR Congo prior to another quarter-final exit for his nation.

On Tuesday, his fine individual Nations Cup form continued with his brace against Egypt despite the four-time champions' comprehensive 4-2 defeat.

Setting a new Nations Cup record is an illustrious honour for a man who already has one Champions League, two Spanish titles, an Olympic medal and two African crowns in his locker.

And since he is just 26, there is no reason why one of the world's most feared predators in front of goal cannot create an unsurpassable Nations Cup tally in the years to come.



SEE ALSO
Cameroon 5-1 Zambia
26 Jan 08 |  Africa Cup of Nations


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