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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 19:29 GMT


Cameroon 0-1 Egypt (1700)


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By Paul Fletcher

1925: Well, that is it for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. Congratulations to Egypt, who I think deserved their victory.

On behalf of everybody who has written a clockwatch during this tournament I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people on 606 and via text who have played their part in our coverage.

You have brought so much fun, humour, opinion and, at times, complete and utter nonsense that it would not have been the same without you.

1923: Caf appear to be one medal short so coach of Egypt Shehata hands his medal to keeper Al-Hadari, who did not have one. Egypt skipper Ahmed Hassan lifts the trophy, the fireworks start and the party begins in earnest.

1921: Egypt wore red shirts during the final but to a man they have all put on white T-shirts with an Egyptian flag on the front.

1920: The Egypt players collect their medals. Obviously, they look very happy indeed.

1918: Egypt's Aboutrika, who scored the winning goal, is named as the final's man of the match. Cameroon's players walk off the field.

1916: Hosni Abd Rabou is named player of the tournament. Eto'o finishes as the top scorer with five goals.

1912: Most of the people are still in the stadium. Cameroon skipper Song leads his players up to collect their losers medals. All the dignitaries have consoling words for Song. Can words really assuage his angst. Alex Song, nephew of Rigobert, limped off early in the match. He removes his medal from around his neck.

1910: Ghana president John Kuffour is on the pitch stood alongside Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Caf boss Issa Hayatou. A temporary dais has been set-up for the trophy ceremony

1908: A quite remarkable ceremony is taking place on the pitch in Accra. The Egypt players are dancing along to the drummers, not so much movement from the Indomitable Lions. Keeper Kameni looks absolutely inconsolable.

1906: "I am in Cairo and the place has erupted. Incredible scenes. Everyone is blowing their horns, fireworks, and wailing. Think I'll go and join the party."
BrainlessPathan on 606

1902: So, the tournament finished one short of the magical three figures in terms of goals scored.

That won't bother Egypt's Shehata, who becomes the first coach since Ghana's Charles Gyamfi in 1965 to retain the Nations Cup.

1901: Cameroon's players remain on the pitch, several shaking hands with the Egypt players and staff. The thousand-yard stare can be seen on several faces as they contemplate what might have been.

1900: "Technically and collectively Egypt have shown that they are the best."
BBC Sport pundit Marcel Desailly

1857: "Wonderful tournament overall. At least we will only have to wait another two years for the next Nations Cup."
Barcagunner on 606

1855: Despair for Cameroon. Excellent Indomitable Lions keeper Kameni appears to be in tears. Egypt keeper Al-Hadari, in contrast, is sat on the top of the goal waving his arms in the air.

1854: Full-time Cameroon 0-1 Egypt
Egypt retain their title. You have to say that on the balance of play they deserved to win the final. They have also been excellent throughout the entire tournament. They play as a team, have a good keeper and in the likes of goalscorer Aboutrika, Zidan and Abd Rabou possess some excellent players.

Sad for Rigobert Song, with his mistake leading to the Egypt goal. He had a chance to make amends in injury time but headed wide.

1851: Egypt are now defending very, very deep. Eto'o is making up the numbers, limping around.

1849: Goalscorer Aboutrika is subbed. Egypt are minutes away from retaining their title. There will be four minutes of added time.

1846: About five minutes left. Mbia shoots from a tight angle and Al-Hadari does well to save. Eto'o is limping around.

1844: Rigobert Song has made more Nations Cup appearances than any other player. If his mistake costs Cameroon the final it would be truly terrible for him.

The ball bounces around the Egypt area and Binya strikes at goal but his shot lacks power and is saved.

1842: Egypt's Shady Mohamed handles on the edge of the area but the free-kick is somehow given in favour of Egypt. Hmm, no idea about that one. The Cameroon players are incensed. Pfister is fuming (again).

1840: Cameroon try to push forward, face it - they need to. Eto'o, though, looks like he has pulled a hamstring. It could be a miserable end for the Indomitable Lions.

We're on 99 goals - one more for three figures.

1836: GOAL Cameroon 0-1 Egypt
Oh dear. Rigobert Song has plenty of time to clear the ball but two bad touches invites trouble and Zidan hustles and harries him, eventually winning possession. Zidan plays the ball to Mohamed Aboutrika in plenty of space and he slots into the bottom corner from 16 yards. Song buries his head in his shirt.

1830: There is no doubt that at this moment in time Egypt have brought more to this game - more attacking threat, more intent, more creativity from midfield. Of course, the scoreboard tells us all is level.

1827: Niggly fouls, a congested midfield, a fear of conceding above a desire to score. This game is becoming more attritional by the minute. I fear extra-time and penalties - I just hope I'm wrong.

1824: Pfister makes his final change - Modeste Mbami coming on for Joel Epalle.

1821: Ahmed Hassan crosses and Abd Rabou, superb so far, makes a good contact but his header thuds off the post and rebounds to safety. Will Egypt live to regret these missed chances?

1820: Moteab goes off for Egypt and Zidan replaces him, tramlines and all. Zidan, it is worth noting, scored twice against Cameroon in their group match.

1818: "One sign of Egypt's tactical brilliance is that they spot their opponent's source of sound, light and noise and quickly neutralise them with echoes and shadows!"
Count_Bernadotte on 606

This sounds extremely profound. Unfortunately I have no idea at all what you are talking about.

1814: Cameroon make an attacking change, with forward Mohamadou Idrissou coming on for Achille Emana.

1812: Kameni is my man of the match so far by quite some margin. Abd Rabou shoots powerfully from 20 yards and the keeper looks slightly unsighted but he adjusts his body shape well to make a save with his right fist.

1811: The impressive Zaki has a crack from a tight angle but Kameni is equal to the challenge again.

1809: "The unthinkable has happened! Yes, Dancing on Ice has just started and the missus has grabbed the remote! What is a guy to do?"
Legend-of-Coop on 606

Oh dear. For those who do not know, Dancing on Ice is a British TV programme. Not one of my personal favourites, I have to say.

1805: "Eto'o is not playing well because Egypt are not allowing him to play."
Former Nigeria captain Sunday Oliseh on BBC TV coverage

1803: The second-half starts. Plenty of noise, atmosphere and colour inside the stadium, which has filled up though there are still plenty of empty seats. Atouba and Mbia are both on the pitch despite picking up injuries late in the first half.

1800: "I believe the Egypt coach will be more upset than the Cameroon coach. If Samuel Eto'o is able to get the ball he will put it into the net. Egypt must continue to keep it tight and continue to play."
BBC Sport pundit Marcel Desailly

1757: "Goalless at half-time? Last time it was 3-0 for Egypt. I think this time around Cameroon will be lucky and win."
alinov on 606

1750: Half-time Cameroon 0-0 Egypt
Egypt have probably had the better of the opening half - and had a couple of good chances. Cameroon have stayed on level terms, though, and the Pharaohs might yet come to regret their missed openings.

1747: Atouba holds his hamstring. It looks like it might be an injury of real concern. Stephane Mbia is down as well. Coach Pfister is scribbling notes. He is a lot more animated than he was a couple of minutes ago.

1744: Egypt coach Shehata barks instructions from the sidelines. Cameroon coach Otto Pfister issues a few orders to his players as well, but in a slightly more restrained manner.

1742: Come on, lets have some goals. Egypt look the most likely, or at least have had the most chances. Cameroon lack creativity. We really need a goal to stretch the game a little bit more - anything to avoid an increasingly cagey affair.

1740: Another long-range effort from Egypt, Zaki drilling his strike over the Cameroon crossbar from 30 yards.

1737: Egypt keeper Al-Hadari suffers his first injury of the day. He collects the ball before Eto'o can reach it but the striker accidentally clips the keeper's knee as he tries to jump out of the way.

1736: Oh dear. Egypt should be in front. Moteab is played clean through on goal with a ball over the top. He shoots from 10 yards but his effort is too close to Kameni, who makes an excellent save. It was a great, great chance.

1735:Almost an instant opportunity to eat my words but, having collected a ball from midfield, Eto'o drags his shot wide of goal.

1733: Has Eto'o touched the ball yet? He has not scored in the knock-out stages and unless he receives better service seems unlikely to do so today. That said, you'd never write him off.

1730: Amr Zaki goes down. Not exactly sure how he was injured but he receives treatment on the sidelines.

Zidan warms-up on the sidelines. He has got some very busy tramlines giving his hairstyle a very urban, cutting-edge look.

1727: A great covering tackle by Tchato after Amr Zaki eludes Rigobert Song. Cameroon have been quite tasty in their tackles so far. I'm not sure Egypt are all that thrilled about it.

1724: The ground is starting to fill-up, still far too many empty seats though. This competition deserves better.

1723: Timothee Atouba meets a corner at the near post but cannot keep it on target. The footballs used in this tournament are well cool.

1721: "I expect not less than two red cards for Cameroon."
Seyasjohn on 606

Hmm. Not exactly positive chat.

1718: Geremi forces a save from Essam Al-Hadari. Seconds later Egypt are on the attack. Kameni makes a brilliant save from Emad Moteab. The parry drops to Aboutrika, who shoots over from 14 yards. Excellent action.

1716: An early blow for Cameroon as the excellent Alex Song limps off with a disconsolate look on his face. He is replaced by Gilles Binya. Song, who plays for Arsenal, has shown in this tournament that he has a big future in the game.

1715: "I've enjoyed the Africa Cup Of Nations much more than I do the Premier League. Very exciting, games played in great spirit. The players are clearly playing with pride for their country, not like a certain national team. A big thumbs up from me."
supertottenham1989 on 606

But if you do prefer the Premier League then Sam Lyon is doing a clockwatch of Chelsea's game with Liverpool.

1712: Do Egypt think Kameni is vulnerable from distance? This time Mohamed Aboutrika tries his luck from 25 yards, forcing another save.

1710: Alex Song has a lot of strapping on his leg and he does not seem to be moving as freely as in previous games. It would be a big blow for the Indomitable Lions if he was not 100%. Egypt, though, look less assured than in previous fixtures, particularly defensively.

1709: Egypt try their luck from distance once again - this time Sayed Moawad striking the ball across goal and forcing Kameni into action with another diving stop.

1706: Egypt win a free-kick roughly 25 yards from goal. The excellent Hosni Abd Rabou strikes the ball around the wall but Carlos Kameni makes a decent save low to his left.

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is in the crowd.

1703: Cameroon start marginally the better of the two teams. A deep cross is directed at Eto'o but Shady Mohamed get something in the way. Eto'o seems to be suggesting it was an arm.

1701: "Egypt has been the most consistent team in the tournament. The pundits never saw them pulling off another tournament win."
Peter Fadesere, USA, via text on +447786 202008

1700: Egypt coach Hassan Shehata looks relaxed on the bench. The final starts.

1657: TEAMS:
Cameroon: 1-Idriss Carlos Kameni; 3-Bill Tchato, 8-Geremi, 4-Rigobert Song, 5-Timothee Atouba; 10-Achille Emana, 15-Alexandre Song, 19-Stephane Mbia, 14-Joel Epalle; 12-Alain Nkong, 9-Samuel Eto'o

Egypt: 1-Essam Al Hadari; 5-Shady Mohamed, 6-Hani Said, 20-Wael Gomaa, 14-Sayed Moawad; 8-Hosni Abd Rabou, 7-Ahmed Fathi, 17-Ahmed Hassan, 22-Mohamed Aboutrika; 10-Emad Moteab, 19-Amr Zaki

1655: The anthems have finally started after a considerable period of time when the players shook hands with one dignitary after another. The empty seats - sad to see.

Cameroon are without the suspended Andre Bikey. Bill Tchato comes in as one of three changes from the team that defeated Ghana.
Egypt are unchanged from the team that defeated Ivory Coast, which means Mohamed Zidan starts from the bench.

1652: "Stadium about half full, a big cheer when the announcer calls out Eto'o's name. Then one for Aboutrika - quite a few Egypt fans have flown in for the final."
BBC World Service's Nick Cavell at the Ohene Djan Stadium

1650: A hot, hot day in Accra with both teams out on the pitch awaiting the national anthems. Plenty of empty seats at the Ohene Djan Stadium.

1648: What price on Samuel Eto'o scoring the winner in the final? The striker is the top scorer in the tournament with five goals.

1641: "I think 1994 and 2000 were excellent tournaments as well. Fantastic knock-out stages in those two, at any rate."
NazKing on 606

1640: A lot of supposed experts predicted that north African teams would not do particularly well in Ghana but Egypt have certainly put paid to that theory.

If they go on to win today, Hassan Shehata will be the first coach to retain the title since Ghana's Charles Gyamfi in 1965.

1635: "I think Egypt might just do it again. They have been the most balanced and complete team in the tournament and they attack at frightening pace."
redandblackT(1899 was a vintage year) on 606

"I think this time Cameroon will beat Egypt 3-1. Why? Because Cameroon have learnt from their mistakes. I am just waiting for that big prize. "
DesiredKenyi on 606

Football - it is all about opinions!

1624: "Sad day this. I think I'm already experiencing Africa Cup of Nations withdrawal. Hope the final lives up to the rest of this fantastic tournament."
jdnp_cfc_gh on 606

1621: Don't forget - these two teams have already met in the competition. Egypt stunned Cameroon with a 4-2 victory in their Group C encounter in Kumasi on 22 January.

The Pharaohs are undefeated and the Indomitable Lions have not lost since.

Egypt defeated Angola at the quarter-final stage before stunning Ivory Coast to secure their passage to the final.

Cameroon defeated Tunisia 3-2 after extra-time and then host nation Ghana in the knock-out stages.

1618: "I think it will be Egypt 2-1 Cameroon but it might need extra time."
CartersRightPeg on 606

1615 GMT: So, this is it - the day of the final.

I think I will feel slightly sad at the end of today when the Nations Cup is all over. Open, attacking football has been played with a spirit of pure endeavour. It has been a real breath of fresh air and a superb advertisement for the game.

Since the tournament started with Ghana narrowly defeating Guinea on 20 January, we have had 31 games and 98 goals - making it the highest scoring tournament in the history of the competition.

It has been packed with quality goals, thrilling passages of play, the odd howler and the occasional X-rated tackle, all taking place against a constant backdrop of sound and colour.

Can you remember a better Nations Cup?

Tell us what you think on 606 or by texting +447786 202008.

And in the end, the 2008 tournament all boils down to this - Cameroon against Egypt in Accra for the right to call themselves champions.

I just hope that the final proves to be a game worthy of its title.

Two of the last three Nations Cup finals have ended goalless - Cameroon winning on penalties in 2002 and Egypt repeating the feat four year's later.

Here is to an early goal!

Cameroon v Egypt player ratings
10 Feb 08 |  African
Egypt 1-0 Cameroon
10 Feb 08 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations photos
10 Feb 08 |  African
Egypt 4-2 Cameroon
22 Jan 08 |  African


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