GOING into their CAN 2010 semi-final clash against Algeria on Thursday, Egypt two missions at, to teach their opponents a football lesson as well as taking revenge for the defeat in the 2010 World Cup qualifier.
And there is no better way to accomplish the two ‘tasks’ than hammering your archrival 4-0 and also have three of their players sent off in a game that promised so much but ended up being a completely one-sided affair.
Forget, Ghana against Nigeria, this was the game (Egypt against Algeria) everyone was waiting for especially given the rivalry that has been created between the two teams (nations) since after those three World Cup qualifiers.
The Egyptians, for all their successes on the African continent, will never ‘forgive’ the Algerians for that defeat in Khartoum, which decided which teams qualifies for this year’s Fifa World Cup in South Africa.
The Pharaohs, six-time African champions, went into the as the overwhelming favourites and they indeed lived up to their billing with a fine performance, which was further helped by the sending off three Algerian players.
Egypt’s performance not only in the semi-final but throughout the tournament has gone along way to prove that Hassan Shehata’s team is the best on the continent and when they finally win a seventh title, a third in a row on Sunday, it won’t come a shock to many if any.
Ghana deserve to be in the final will have their work cut out against an Egypt team, which has something to prove not only to the African continent but also to the rest of the world.
Since the defeat to Ivory Coast in their first group game, the youthful Black Stars have moved from strength to strength in their consequent games. They’re not scoring a lot of goals but they’ve made it so hard for the opponents to break them down.
Going into tomorrow’s final, they’ve scored just three goals. After they score, they know what to do in terms of not conceding and their tactic has worked so well thus far but against, Egypt, they meet a totally different challenge from what they’ve encountered throughout the tournament.