Eto'o poised for scoring record

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o will have history in his sights as he lines up against Zambia in Kumasi on Saturday.

The three-time African Footballer of the Year is just one goal away from equalling the Africa Cup of Nations' all-time scoring record.

The 26-year-old's opening Group C double against Egypt has taken him to 13 goals in the finals, just one off Laurent Pokou's tally.

The Ivorian striker struck his 14 goals in just two tournaments.

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

Should Eto'o equal or break the long-standing record, either against Zambia or in Wednesday's final Group C match against the Sudanese, he will have needed many more finals than the Ivorian.

There would also be a neat symmetry to the Barca marksman'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 would be 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 hitmen cannot create an unsurpassable Nations Cup tally in the years to come.
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