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Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 20:30 GMT
Egypt win Cup after penalty drama
Egypt 0-0 Ivory Coast (AET)
Egypt win 4-2 on penalties

Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport, Cairo

Egypt's players celebrate winning the African Cup of Nations
Egypt's players celebrate winning the African Cup of Nations
Egypt won the African Cup of Nations for a record fifth time by beating Ivory Coast 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in the final in Cairo.

Goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary was the hero for the hosts, saving two penalty kicks, while Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba and Bakary Kone missed theirs.

The match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes, with Drogba missing the Ivorians' best chance in regulation time.

Mohammed Aboutrika scored the winning penalty for the North Africans.

But Egypt's Pharaohs could have won it in extra-time had their captain Ahmed Hassan not struck the post after being awarded one of the most controversial penalties in Nations Cup history.

Tunisian referee Mourad Daami awarded the spot kick after Egypt's Mohamed Barakat fell in the box, even though the challenge from Blaise Kossi Kouassi had both players going for the ball.

Despite facing a hostile home crowd of 75,000 in the Cairo International Stadium, the Ivorians stuck to the task at hand and were fully competitive throughout the match.

Chances were few and far between in the first half hour, as both sides struggled to create anything in the final third of the pitch.

Amr Zaki, the hero of Egypt's semi-final victory over Senegal, came closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts in the 34th minute with a neatly struck half-volley.

But five minutes later, the Pharaohs were fortunate not to go behind when Kolo Toure's effort missed the target by a whisker, following a corner.

In a pulsating 10-minute spell after the break, Egypt had the opportunity to take the lead but both Mohamed Aboutrika and Emad Moteab missed with free headers.

As the second period wore on, the Elephants regained their focus and created anxiety on the terraces by taking the game to the Egyptians.

But when Arouna Kone found Drogba with a delightful pass in the 76th minute, the Chelsea forward somehow contrived to scoop the ball over with the goal gaping.

With seven minutes remaining, the hosts had the ball in the back of the net after a goalmouth melee but Zaki's effort was ruled out by the referee.

With the 0-0 scoreline unchanged after 120 minutes of play, the penalty shoot-out begun with both captains taking their kicks.

But while Egypt's Ahmed Hassan scored his, Drogba's was saved by El Hadary, and bitter disappointment followed for the Ivorians.

The euphoric scenes that were played out by the hosts after the winning penalty by Aboutrika were in stark contrast to the shattered Ivory Coast players and their 200 fans who trudged off the pitch in disbelief.


  • Egypt coach Hassan Shehata:
    "The goal Zaki scored late in the normal time should have stood because there was nothing wrong with it and when we again lost the penalty in extra time, I was beginning to think, it was not going to be our day.

    "Thank God we were luckier during the penalty shoot-out.

    "Ivory Coast are a very good team but we knew them well after we played against them thrice in recent times so we were able to know their strong and weak points."

  • Ivory Coast coach Henri Michel:
    "It's a pity we were not far from winning this tournament but when you got the chances we had, you are not supposed to miss them.

    "If Drogba had scored, it would have been over for Egypt.

    "If you look at the overall tournament, we deserved to have won it."

    "The penalty against us was like that against Senegal, a robbery, but still they were not able to convert it."

  • Ivory Coast midfielder Didier Zokora:
    "Penalty shoot-out or not, we lost. We are really disappointed but we had a good tournament.



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