Egypt win third straight crown
LUANDA: Egypt entered the record books beating Ghana 1-0 in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations with supersub Mohamed 'Gedo' Nagy lifting the Pharaohs to their third straight title.
Gedo came on in the 63rd minute and produced his magic with five minutes left on the clock to cement Egypt's standing as the kings of Africa. The win also gave veteran coach Hassan Shehata a history-making third championship after Cairo in 2006 and Accra in 2008 and extended Egypt's unbeaten record in the competition to an astonishing 19 games.
The Black Stars made it to the final playing pragmatic rather than beautiful football, but they began in enterprising fashion, matching the Egyptians for speed and dexterity.
In-form striker Asamoah Gyan had an early shot go high over Egypt's crossbar and Serie A-based Kwadwo Asamoah had a long range effort safely scooped up by Essam al-Hadary as the supposed 'underdogs' counter attacked with menace.
Towards the end of the first period both skipper Ahmed Hassan and Emad Motaeb, failed to connect with a floating 25m Egyptian freekick into the box. The sides re-emerged after the break with the 50,000 capacity Chinese-built stadium by now three-quarters full and the near 40 degree heat which greeted the players at kick-off cooling down as night fell.
Opoku Agyemang went into Mali referee Coulibaly Koman's book for an ill-judged tackle on Ahmed al-Mohamady and not to be outdone Egypt's Sayed Moawad picked up a yellow card seconds later for handball. Koman had his hand in his pocket again to fish out a card for al-Mohamady after a collision with Opoku. The game needed a goal but what it got was another booking, this time Ghaly for pulling Asamoah.
Shehata brought on supersub Gedo with 20 minutes left for Motaeb hoping the Al-Ittihad striker would repeat his magic. Ghana's best chance came in the 78th minute when al-Hadary did well to punch away Gyan's lethal looking 28m freekick as Ghana's youngsters had Egypt's red shirts on the run.
Then unbelievably, with the game heading towards extra-time, Gedo conjured up the decisive goal with a sublime 1-2 with Zidan down the left to slot an angled shot past Kingson.