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Egypt beat Ghana 1-0 to earn African Cup title

Published:Monday | February 1, 2010 | 2:00 AM

LUANDA, Angola (AP):

Egypt won the African Cup of Nations for the third time in a row yesterday after substitute Mohamed Gedo scored in the 85th minute to earn a 1-0 victory over Ghana in the final.

Tournament debutant Gedo curled in a shot from within the area to give Egypt their record seventh title.

"From the first day we arrived, we said we were here to win the tournament," Egypt assistant coach Shawki Garib said. "And we did it, even if it was harder than in 2006 and 2008."

No other team has won the biennial tournament three consecutive times.

Showcase tournament

Egypt, which haven't played in a World Cup since 1990, will again miss the showcase tournament this summer. Unbeaten in 19 matches in the African Cup, the team lost to Algeria last November in the play-offs for a World Cup place in South Africa.

"We play better during big tournaments than during our qualifying campaigns," Garib said. "Over three weeks, it's easier to develop team cohesion."

Egypt scored 15 goals and conceded just two on their way to the title and secured victories over four World Cup qualifiers: Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana.

"I'm really proud of the players' achievements," Garib said.

Ghana, which had been hoping to earn their first continental crown since 1982, dominated for most of the match but failed to create clear-cut chances.

Careful play

"We played carefully, we were very patient and methodical," Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said. "We played to score and we controlled the match. It was unfortunate to concede a goal."

The team's success was celebrated loudly in Cairo, with roving bands of revellers hitting the streets, banging drums, blasting air horns and setting off fireworks. One man spun an Egyptian flag around him in the style of a whirling dervish.

"They played with confidence and seemed convinced they could pull off a miracle at the end and they did that," said Nabil Abdel-Hay, 57, who watched the match with hundreds of others on an outdoor screen in downtown Cairo.