Gedo strike secures Pharaohs hat-trick
Africa cup of nations
Published 01/02/2010 | 05:00
Egypt claimed their third straight title last night to secure their reputation as one of the greatest sides Africa has produced.
Hassan Shehata, their grizzled coach, has not lost in this competition since he took charge six years ago and this band of loyal players he has assembled had just too much nous for a promising Ghana -- making a mockery of the Pharaohs' failure to qualify for the World Cup.
With five minutes to go, Mohamed 'Gedo' Nagy, the striker who has had English scouts purring, sprinted down the left touchline, cut in, played a sharp one-two with Mohamed Zidan, before curling the ball around Richard Kingson in the Ghana goal. It was the impact sub's fifth goal of the tournament, making him the top scorer.
Until then it looked as if Ghana were going to win. They created a series of chances in the closing stages, the excellent Asamoah Gyan going close with two free-kicks and Agyemang Opoku not quite able to get on the end of Samuel Inkoom's low cross.
With four players from the side that won the World U-20 Championships starting and Michael Essien among a handful of big names set to return from injury, England will be wary of meeting the Black Stars in South Africa this summer.
What threatened to be a drab game in the opening exchanges was compelling by the end.
Fans continued to pour into the ground as the game progressed, going from half-full at kick-off, three-quarters at half-time and packed to near its 50,000 capacity at the final whistle. Whether the organisers had started to let fans in for free or whether it was just an army of latecomers held up in Luanda's notorious gridlock traffic, the atmosphere was dramatically intensified.
As the crowd swelled, Ghana poured forward, encouraged by the support of Angolan fans showing sub-Saharan solidarity. But when substitute Eric Addo could not react in time to Inkoom's cross in stoppage time, the cause was lost. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
- Togo will be banned from the next two tournaments for withdrawing from this year's competition following a gun attack on their team bus which killed two people. The Togolese FA has also been fined $50,000