Libyan soccer fans celebrate by shooting in the air and waving the independence flag in Tripoli's streets as their team draw against Zambia in a crucial African Nations Cup qualifier.
TRIPOLI, LIBYA (OCTOBER 8, 2011) REUTERS - Libyan soccer fans celebrated in Tripoli on Saturday (October 8) by shooting in the air and waving the independence flag as their team drew against Zambia in a crucial African Nations Cup qualifier.
The stalemate in Chingola ensured Zambia finished top of Group C by a single point from the unbeaten Libyans, who are likely also to qualify as one of the best-placed runners-up, once the weekend's final set of qualifiers are completed.
Libya's 39-year-old goalkeeper, Samir Aboud, made two crucial first-half saves, while there was a plethora of key second-half tackles to deny Zambia's attackers.
The Libyans' achievement is made even more remarkable by the fact their domestic league has been suspended since March, denying most of their national team players regular competitive action.
"God willing, I hope that they will qualify for the African Nations Cup and I congratulate them for playing a good match. The whole team was playing very well and the match was very good," said soccer fan Ahmed al-Khatouni.
Libya played all but one of their six-match qualifying programme away from the country after the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi's regime forced them to schedule two 'home' matches at neutral venues. Team coach Marco Paqueta has not been paid for the past six months.A heroic defensive display helped Libya force a 0-0 draw in Zambia in their decisive African Nations Cup qualifier, in all likelihood earning the team a place at next year's finals.