Egypt hammered Algeria 4-0, making it through to their third successive Africa Cup of Nations final, and winning a record 18 Cup games in a row. If they win the tournament, that’ll be seven trophies in the bag, another record, and one that will give some comfort after they lost 2-0 to their North African rivals in their 2010 World Cup qualifier late last year.
Algeria finished the intensely emotional game with only eight men. After an earlier send-off, the Desert Foxes lost it, and saw Portsmouth player Nadir Belhadj and goalkeeper Fawzi Chaouchi booted off for ill-discipline.
Hosni Abd Rabou put the Pharaohs ahead in the first-half with a spot-penalty awarded for foul play. Mohamed Zidan doubled the lead in the second half, before Mohamed Abdelshafi scored a third and Mohamed Gedo completed a fourth.
Earlier in the day, Ghana held on to a 1-0 first-half lead against Nigeria, and now face Egypt in Sunday’s final, after striker Asamoah Gyan popped a header after 21 minutes to put the Black Stars ahead. World Cup qualifiers Nigeria put on the pressure in the second-half, but Ghana got home to the end-game for the first time since 1992.
Nigerian coach Shaibu Amodu is now under heavy pressure heading for South Africa. Ghana’s organised defence took the wind out of the sails of the Super Eagles after they shot some wide in both halves, with Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingson reacting quickly to keep out a deflected a chip by striker Obafemi Martins.
Ghana is the only World Cup qualifier left in the running for the title, but they’re going to have to beat a revved up Egyptian side that is set on breaking even more records.
Photo: Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan (R) celebrates his goal with teammate Emmanuel Badu (L) during their African Nations Cup semi-final soccer match against Nigeria in Luanda, January 28, 2010. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
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