Two second half goals from Jean Makoun gave Cameroon a comfortable 4-1 win over Tunisia on Sunday to book their place in the World Cup finals for an African record seventh time.
Cameroon wasted no time in taking the advantage after last month’s goalless first leg in Rades.
With just three minutes gone, Pierre Webo pounced on a defensive mix-up by the Tunisians, firing across goal, the ball bouncing in off the post.
But it took a majestic goal on the half-hour by Benjamin Moukandjo to give the Indomitable Lions breathing space as Tunisia paid the price for sitting back and letting the home side carry the game to them.
Moukandjo, brought in to add width and pace on the left, collected the ball and – with a burst of speed – glided through three defenders and fired an unstoppable shot past Moez Ben Charifa from the edge of the area.
“We are very happy,” said Cameroon midfielder Stephane Mbia. “We have had some difficult years but this is the result of having a strong group.”
There seemed no way back for Tunisia and they did nothing in the first half to test Charles Itandje in the Cameroon goal, whose heroics in Rades set them up for the second leg.
Tunisia’s Dutch coach Ruud Krol, drafted in at the last minute to fire up the team for the return leg, appeared to have pulled off a masterstroke by throwing on striker Ahmed Akaichi as a halftime substitute.
Just four minutes into the half, Akaichi produced a perfect finish, chasing a long through ball and powering a first-time volley beyond the reach of Itandje from the edge of the area.
But Makoun restored the Lions’ two-goal advantage, rising above the defence to head home Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s corner in the 65th minute and wrapped it up four minutes from time when he slotted home the rebound after substitute Eric Choupo Moting’s shot hit the post.
Cameroon are the third African team to qualify for Brazil, with Nigeria and Ivory Coast sealing their spots on Saturday.
The final two play-offs take place on Tuesday with Ghana holding a 6-1 lead over Egypt while Algeria host Burkina Faso trailing 3-2.