Pharaohs crowned champions

ACCRA - Defending champions Egypt wrote another chapter in African football history yesterday by setting another record in the African Nations Cup by winning a record sixth Africa Cup of Nations with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Cameroon yesterday. The lone goal came in the 77th minute when a mistake by Cameroon’s  captain Rigobert Song gifted substitute Mohamed Zidan a chance to pass the ball to Mohamed Aboutrika who didn’t return the favour in beating Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
Egypt national football team captain Ahmed Hassan (C) flanked by his teammates holds the cup after defeating Cameroon 1-0 in the final of  the 2008 African Cup of Nations  yesterday. (AFP photo)
Egypt national football team captain Ahmed Hassan (C) flanked by his teammates holds the cup after defeating Cameroon 1-0 in the final of the 2008 African Cup of Nations yesterday. (AFP photo)

ACCRA - Defending champions Egypt wrote another chapter in African football history yesterday by setting another record in the African Nations Cup by winning a record sixth Africa Cup of Nations with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Cameroon yesterday. The lone goal came in the 77th minute when a mistake by Cameroon’s  captain Rigobert Song gifted substitute Mohamed Zidan a chance to pass the ball to Mohamed Aboutrika who didn’t return the favour in beating Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. 

The victory earned a milestone for Egypt’s coach Hassan Shehata who becomes only the second coach to win successive trophies.

Aboutreika’s goal was his fourth goal of the tournament.

Cameroon coach Otto Pfister had been trying to become only the second German to win the African title. It was his second attempt after leading Ghana to the 1992 final against Ivory Coast.  Winfried Schafer won the 2002 title with Cameroon.

Using Samuel Eto’o as a lone striker, Cameroon created few chances in the match.

The Cameroon captain had two chances to clear the ball but got tangled in a needless duel with Zidan and lost the ball. Zidan squared it perfectly and Aboutreika finished powerfully in the bottom right corner.

Realizing his error, Song pulled his shirt into his mouth and pointed to the skies, as if seeking forgiveness.

Goalkeeper Carlos Kameni ran over and comforted Song.
Cameroon struggled to get shots on goal and there was no player on hand to turn home Stephane M’Bia’s cross in the 83rd. Song had a chance in injury time but headed Geremi’s cross over.

Kameni burst into tears at the final whistle and had to be comforted by Eto’o. Defender Augustin Binya dropped to his knees and gazed into the distance as Egypt’s players rolled on the field and hugged and prayed in celebration.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Ghanian President John Kufuor and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho attended the match.
The next Nations Cup will be held in Angola in 2010. 
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