Egypt beat Nigeria to break 47 year jinx
Defending Champions Egypt broke a 33 year jinx when they beat Nigeria 3-1 in Group C opener of the on-going Nations Cup tournament in Benguela, Angola.
It was Nigeria's Chinedu Obasi who put the Eagle's ahead with a cracker of a left foot shot which left Essam Al-Hadary in post for Egypt frowning.
But the Egyptians kept their composure and rattled in three goals from Mateeb, Hassan and Gedo to exorcise the Nigerian ghost which has long haunted them.
Egypt by far the most successful country in the Nations Cup History with a record six titles unfortunately has not beaten the Super Eagles since 1977 and when Obasi dammed his marker and unleashed a blistering left footer in the 12th minute to beat Al-Hadary, history was set to be repeated.
Nigeria again had the opportunity to increase the tally when a poor defensive clearance from a Taye Taiwo cross on the left fell to Kalu Uche, but the Almeria star at close range hammered over the bar.
Uche undoubtedly proved a mouthful for the Egyptian defence and in the 33rd minute had his screamer take a ricochet against the goal post.
In a quick counter attack Egypt's Hassan caught the Nigerian defence napping with a superb ball to Mateeb who kept his composure, beat the oncoming Enyama and slotted the ball into the yawning net for the much needed equalizer for the Egyptians.
The Pharaohs grew in confidence with quick breaks using the pace of Zidan to their advantage.
Even though the Nigerians kept possession well in midfield with some rampaging runs on the left flank by Taiwo who advertised some lovely crosses, they lacked the cutting edge upfront and ended the first half level.
Just a minute into the second half, Nigeria's Yakubu Aiyegbeni was crowded out by the Egyptian defence when he attempted to connect a Yusif Ayinla cross on the right. With good anticipation from Al-Hadary, the experienced Ismaili goal keeper saved what could have been a dangerous situation for the defending champions.
In the 54th minute however, the Egyptians increased the tally when a ferocious strike from Hassan took a wicked deflection to beat Enyama.
Nigeria's coach Amobi made a surprise substitution pulling out Uche who had proven a slippery customer for the Egyptians and brought on Obinna Nsofor who became totally anonymous in the game.
Nigeria lacked creativity up front with Chelsea star Mikel Obi failing to stamp his authority on the game. It was not surprising he was pulled out for the much experienced Nwankwo Kanu.
But that did not achieve any results as Gedo put the game beyond the reach of the Nigerians with a 88th minute strike which left the Nigerians totally distraught.
3-1 it ended in favour of the defending champions.
Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana