Due to ongoing site preparation we unfortunately did not get around to covering Egypt’s superb African Nations’ Cup triumph in Angola. While the tournament itself was overshadowed by the deadly attack on the Togo team bus days before the competition began there was decent football played though perhaps the level was a bit lower than the last couple tournaments.
Egypt thoroughly deserved their 3rd consecutive title and 7th overall as the Pharaohs won all six of their matches in the competition and extended their record unbeaten run in Africa’s premier continental competition to 19 matches. Hassan Shehata’s side defeated a spirited and youthful Ghana side in the final 1-0 thanks to an 85th minute goal by super-sub Mohammed ‘Gedo’ Nagy. Nagy came off the bench for every match in the tournament yet still finished as leading scorer with 5 goals.
It is really amazing that Egypt have not qualified for a World Cup since 1990 especially with this current ‘Golden Generation’. They lost out in a playoff to Algeria back in November to miss out on the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa. Shehata’s men did exact some revenge against their bitter rivals by destroying them 4-0 in the semifinals of the African Nations’ Cup, however the bitter taste of failing to qualify for South Africa 2010 will take a while to leave.
That said, Shehata has been given a contract extension which means he will get one more chance to lead his country to the World Cup. After the performances of his team in this tournament it is a just reward. The only unfortunate thing is that we will have to wait four years to see if that happens, for now Africa’s best side will be missing from the first ever World Cup to be held on the continent.