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Egypt 3-1 Nigeria

January 12, 2010

Complexo de Sr. Da Garca,  Benguela

African Cup of Nations Group C

January 12 2010

Egypt’s quest for an unprecedented third consecutive African Cup of Nations title began in impressive style with a convincing 3-1 victory over Nigeria.

Goals from Emad Moteab, Ahmed Hasan and Mohamed Gedo gave the Egyptians a 3-1 come from behind win in Group C’s most attractive tie and technically the best game of the tournament so far.

Hoffenhiem’s Chinedu Obasi had given the Nigerians an 11th minute lead after a fantastic left footed shot from the edge of the penalty area that Egypt keeper Essam Al Hadary was unable to keep out. But as soon as Egyptian skipper Ahmed Hassan’s shot deflected off Marseille’s Taye Taiwo to give his side a 2-1 lead on 54 minutes, Nigeria were spent.

Emad Moteab equalised for Egypt in the first half

The Egyptians had earlier equalised after Al Alhy striker Moteab had broken a woeful Nigerian offisde trap to round an on ruishing Vincent Enyeama and slot into an empty net.

Nigeria, two time winners themselves, created little after going behind and waited until ten minutes from time to make changes up front with Kanu surpirsing replacing the impressive Jon Obi Mikel. Mikel played in a more advanced role than he does for Chelsea and was at the heart of everything good that Nigeria did.

As the Super Eagles pushed for an equaliser substitute Gedo was able to exploit a stretched defense to drive the ball into the bottom right of Enyeama’s goal and wrap up the three points.

The game sould have been wrapped up far sooner, as Meeteb blazed over following a mistake by Everton’s Joseph Yobo and the impressive Mohamed Zidan had a free kick well saved.

Coming into the tournament both teams will have expectd to qualify from the group, and Nigerian coach Shuaaibu Amodou will come under even more pressure following the defeat. Nigerian fans want to see an end to Amodou’s third spell in charge despite guiding the Super Eagles to the World Cup in South Africa. His contract is up at the end of the African Cup of Nations.

Egypt on the other hand lost a World Cup playoff to bitter rivals Algeria and despite two consecutive CAN triumphs, they have not been to a World Cup in 20 years, and a poor showing in Angola could see an end to Hassan Shehata’s reign as head coach. Shehata has an an Egyptian based and ageing squad at his disposal. Goalkeeper El Hadary is nearly 37 and captain Hassan is 34. This could be their last chance to cement their legacy as the best African team of this generation.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 12, 2010 8:57 pm

    Brilliant performance by Egypt – Zidan looks like a player to watch – and, as you say, by far the best match of the tournament technically. Both teams moved the ball very well compared to the sloppy passing seen thus far. A taste of what’s to come in the latter stages with any luck…

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