Egypt crowned African Nations champions

31 January 2010 06:59

Super-sub Mohamed Gedo scored the only goal five minutes from time to help Egypt defend their African Nations Cup crown with a 1-0 victory over brave Ghana.

The Pharaohs, who struggled to create many openings, looked unlikely to score as the game drifted towards extra-time - until the Ittihad striker struck his fifth goal of the competition to break the resilience of their opponents.

It handed Hassan Shehata's men a record seventh title and third in succession in Angola, but they were made to work hard for the success at the Estadio do Novembre 11 in Luanda.

Both teams were handed a boost before the start with Wael Gomaa and Emad Moteab passed fit for the Pharaohs and Richard Kingson, Agyeman Opoku and Hans Sarpei all included for the Black Stars.

There was little action to speak of at the start - an early corner from Kwadwo Asamoah catching out goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, while Egypt's first half-chance came via a wayward strike over the top from captain Ahmed Hassan.

Although the Egyptians seemed to have more of the ball, their opponents seemed to be creating the better openings - Asamoah again illustrating this when his well-struck 20-yard strike forced El-Hadary into a tricky low catch.

After the restart, Agyeman Opoku was lucky to get away with just a yellow card after diving in two-footed on Ahmed Al-Muhammadi.

When Moteab finally managed to steal behind the Ghana defence after the hour-mark he was quickly closed down by Kingson, before Shehata decided to thrown on the tournament's leading marksman, Gedo, with 20 minutes remaining.

Then came the decisive moment of the game with Gedo, cutting into the box from the left, playing a neat one-two with Mohamed Zidan and calmly arrowing the ball beyond Kingston to break Ghanaian hearts.

Milovan Rajevac's men tried desperately to get the goal they needed but Asamoah and Eric Addo wasted good chances and the west Africans had to settle for second place.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0