11.02.2008 Football News

Egypt are African champions yet again

By myjoyonline
Egypt are African champions yet again
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They have successfully defended the trophy they won in 2006 on home soil.

They beat the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon by one goal to nil at the Ohene Djan Stadium.

The pair that was never predicted by football pundits played the final of the 26 MTN Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt and Cameroon.

Many were those who predicted the final between Ghana's Black Stars and the Elephants of Ivory Coast. Indeed the two nations played except that they played for third place to the disappointment of many.

In the tenth minute Egypt escaped narrowly from an aggressive attack of the Cameroonians.

Abou Terika whom a Cameroonian fan in Yaoundé said was the only player on the Egyptian side that put an iota of fear in him missed the goal by inches in the 12 minute.

Following that, Egypt had a corner which was poorly taken.

A dangerous break by the Cameroonians was easily cut out by the ever confident attackers of Egypt.

Cameroonian bench this stage of the game contemplated a substitution and Alexander
Song left the pitch grudgingly as his coach recalled him after 15 minutes of play.

A Cameroon free kick near the goal area of Egypt nearly posed problems for the Pharaohs but the quintessential goal-keeper Elhaderi saved it.

An Egyptian break nearly gave Egypt the opener but the strong defence of Cameroon kept the prying Zaky at bay.

Mohammed Abou Terika missed narrowly again raising questions as to whether Cameroon were going to be able to avenge their earlier defeat.

A long cross got Geremi who forced the Egyptians to concede a corner kick, but it was poorly taken.

After 25 minutes of play Egypt were consistently threatening the goal area of Cameroon and when they tried to break Moawad neutralised it.

Zaky was struggling to keep up with strong defence of Cameroon at this stage of the game.

Abou Terika set Zaky up but he failed to control the ball.

Ahmed Zaky went down in the 29 minutes of the first half played.

Atuba managed to keep possession of the ball for Cameroon but his pass would not get to the target.
Emana's break would be cut out beautifully and Njitap would concede a free kick near his goal area.

The ball was however headed away.

Eto'o in an attempt to establish his authority in the game fired a wild shot at goal but it went wide.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was in the VIP seat observing coolly the match as it progressed.

Cameroon goalkeeper pulled a save for the Cameroonians and brought their coach to his feet.

Goal keeper Elhadari went down following a clash with Eto'o but he received treatment and play resumed.

Zaky took a free kick for Egypy but it was too high to produce any results.

Atuba appeared too strong for Hassan but Zaky would flick the ball across the goal line for a goal kick to Cameroon.

Goal keeper Idris Kameni was busy pulling a number of important saves for the Cameroonians.

Two minutes of time added on and the score line remained goalless.

To be fair Egypt were unlucky not to have any goal before the end of the first half.

The Cameroonian coach in the dying minutes of the half was screaming and throwing his hands in the air furiously apparently over something the referee did.

The whistle went for the end of the first half with neither side having anything to show.

But that also meant unlike the first group match where Egypt led Cameroon by thee goals to nil in the first half, the final proved much tougher for both sides.

Play resumed with the Egyptians playing more purposefully. The Cameroonians were quite physical and thus conceding fouls.

Cameroon took a promising throw near Egypt's goal area but the referee came to the rescue of the Egyptians.

Idris Kameni once again came to the rescue of Cameroon in the 51 minute.

Immediately following that Cameroon took a corner kick but it was well defended.

The ball remained in the Egyptian half for a while but they went on a break and Rogorbert Song conceded a corner which was quickly taken.

Egypt had another corner but Song headed making amends for conceding one.

Kameni pulled a wonderful save for the Cameroonians and Egypt had their fourth corner in succession.

Hassan would go down being pushed by Atuba.

Idrissou came in for Emana for Cameroon in the 55 minute.

Kameni volleys the ball away but Geremi kicks it for a corner kick. Quickly taken and scrappily played away for a goal kick.

Egypt had an opportunity to break but the final delivery was poor.

Egypt at this juncture had a respectable possession of the ball.

Mohammed Zidane came in for Egypt, as Shehata tried to play some cards on his bench.

The woodwork saved the Cameroonians in the 61 minute.

Atuba took a yellow card for rough tackling.

At this stage of the game the ball remained in the Cameroonian half of the pitch.

And they easily conceded fouls.

The momentum of the game slowed as J. Epalle came out for Nbami to take his place.

After a gruelling 66 minutes of play, there were no goals.

The game at this part of the second half was dominated totally by Egypt probably improving their first half 54 per cent ball possession.

Mohammed Zidane could not beat the offside trap set by the Cameroonian defence.

Nkon lost the ball nonchalantly to Egypt.

Moawad went down but quickly got up knowing there was no room for delays.

The Indomitable Lions threatened with a good ball from Atuba who eventually and got a corner kick for his effort.

Abou Terika scored the killer goal for Egypy after Zidane through rare magnanimity won the ball from Song giving Terika a free chance to score arguably his most important goal in the 77 minute.

Egypt had another free kick but Abou Terika could not keep the ball.

Cameroon tried to come back but Elhadari took the ball and cleared the danger.
8 minutes more to play and the top scorer in the tournament, Samuel Eto'o received treatment.

In the dying minutes of the game Cameroon appealed for a foul in the Egyptian goal but the referee would not have any of that.

Cameroon nearly fetched the much needed equaliser through a throw but they were unlucky as Elhadari flicked it over the post for a corner kick to Cameroon.

Mohammed Zidane made another dangerous incursion into the Cameroonian defence but could not connect well.

Elhadari kept the Egyptian lead by pulling a wonderful save but the surging Cameroonians kept the pressure on.

Egypt was gradually inching towards defending the title as there were three minutes to play in regulation time.

Egypt defended gallantly as they as they were on the brink of defending the trophy for a record sixth time.

Cameroon had probably their last corner of the match while four minutes time added was shown by the fourth assistant referee. And Cameroon needed to find a goal to liven their
dream of annexing the cup for the fifth time.

With two more minutes to play Hassan Shehata could not take his seat as the Lions threatened unceasingly.

Song's header could not save the situation as it was disappointing.

The referee's whistle eventually went and Egypt are the undisputed champinons.

The Egyptian players joined their coach Hassan Shehata to thank Allah with a prostration.

Finnaly Egypt had shown Cameroon that the group stage defeat was not a mistake.

Goal keeper Idris Kameni sobbed uncontrollably.

His resilience did pay except that they prevented his side from suffering an embarrassing defeat.

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