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CAN 2008 : Egyptians in a festive mood
Egyptians celebrated late into Thursday night after their national team, the Pharaohs, cruised into the final of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, with a 4-1 emphatic victory over Cote d’Ivoire.

Egyptians celebrated late into Thursday night after their national team, the Pharaohs, cruised into the final of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, with a 4-1 emphatic victory over Cote d’Ivoire.

Ahmed Fathi opened the scoring for defending champion Egypt in the 12th minute via a shot that bounced off the leg of an Ivorian defender and into the back of the net. The first 45 minutes ended with the Pharaohs leading by the lone goal.

"I thought we were going to lose at half-time. Ivory Coast looked like they were going to score 5 goals at least, but we were really lucky," said Waleed, a café owner. "But we got the win and (we) look to Cameroon again. That will be fun," he said in reference to Sunday’s final clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, which beat host Ghana 1-0 to reach the final.

Egyptian striker Amr Zaki ricocheted a header for a second goal on the hour mark to give Egypt a 2-0 lead. But that lead was quickly cut in half less than a minute later on a beautiful effort by Abdelkader Keita’s 25 yard blast.

However, Egypt would not be denied, using its counter attacks to push a third goal into the net, making it Zaki’s fourth goal of the tournament. A fourth goal on the 90-minute mark iced the game for Egypt, who received a superb performance by goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari, whose daring saves rattled the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire.

With the win, Egypt has confirmed its supremacy of Cote d’Ivoire, which it beat 3-1 in the group round in 2006 and again 4-2 on penalties in the final, when Egypt hosted the tournament. "With (Hassan) Shehata as manager, I think we [Egypt] get the best performances by the team. We played so well in defence I think we could have beaten a lot of teams in the world. Hopefully that will carry on into the final against Cameroon," says Mohamed, an avid Egypt fan.

Sunday’s final will be a replay of the first round match between Egypt and Cameroon, which the Pharaohs won 4-2.


 Dossier : CAN 2008
Egypt

dossier : CAN 2008

 

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