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GHANA 2008 : The Pharaohs are kings of Africa

Last Updated: 2/11/2008 12:03:55 AM

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The Egyptian National team the Pharaohs this afternoon were crowned as the premier nation in African football after they beat Cameroon’s indomitable lions 1-0 in the finals of the African Cup of Nations.....


Egypt win six championship
Egypt win six championship

It has been an exciting African Cup of Nations; arguably the best ever and it deserved a fitting finale. It was not to be, in itself the game was not bad but compared to many of the wonderful matches that graced the competition it was a bit of a let down.

That the match was relatively poor did not come as a surprise as having been beaten comprehensively in their opening match by Egypt, Cameroon approached the finals with very little inclination to attack fielding a five man midfield and leaving Samuel Eto’o up front as the sole target man.

The negative approach of the indomitable Lions meant that almost all the chances in the first half were Egyptian with Cameroon's keeper Carlos Kameni pulling off a string of world class saves to keep Cameroon in the game.

The first real chance for Egypt was in the 18th minute When Emad Moateb’s point blank shot brought off a wonder save from Kameni, three minutes later Egyptian midfielder Mohammed AbouTreika found space in the Cameroonian eighteen his shot brought off another great save from Kameni . The match seemed to be gradually settling into a battle of wills between the Egyptian attack and Carlos Kameni.

For most of the first half Cameroon barely created any chances as poor wayward passing in the midfield meant most of their forays into the Egyptian were broken down easily.

The Second half started off as a mirror of the first half with shots on target by Amr Zaki and Hosni all thwarted by wonderful saves from Kameni. The pressure from Egypt though was growing and in the middle of the second half they had a succession of five corner kicks. At this point you knew a goal was coming for the Egyptians it was only a case of when.

On the sixth minute Hosni came close when his powerful header finally beat Kameni but was denied by the upright, but Cameroon's luck was soon to run out when twelve minutes later defender Riogobert Song veteran of seemingly countless ANCs fluffed a simple clearance allowing Mohammed Zidane to bear down on him and in the ensuing tussle for the ball Zidane was able to toe poke the ball to team mate Mohammed Abou Treika who made no mistake as his low shot beat Kameni to take Egypt in front.

With the Championship slipping out of their grasp Cameroon finally decided to come out of the trenches and launch an offensive game. Egyptian Goal Keeper Essam El Hadari who had been untroubled for most of the match was called on to make saves from Song and Stephane Mbia as the Idomitable lions pushed for an equaliser.

In the end Cameroon had nothing in the box of tricks to trouble Egypt and as the whistle went Egypt celebrated history with their sixth African Nations championship.



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