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Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Egypt 3-1 Nigeria

By Dave Lee

Emad Moteab of Egypt celebrates
Emad Moteab scored in the second half to give Egypt the lead

Defending champions Egypt came from behind to seal a fine victory over Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Chinedu Obasi put Nigeria in front in the 12th minute with a clinical finish.

Egypt levelled when a goalkeeping error let Emad Moteab slip the ball into an empty net, before a deflected effort from Ahmed Hassan put them ahead.

And a superb long-range drive from substitute Mohamed 'Gedo' Nagy minutes from time completed the turnaround as Egypt moved to the top of Group C.

The match pitted two former winners of the tournament up against each other, and it was Nigeria who started the stronger as Obasi skilfully changed direction to turn Mahmoud Fathalla inside out before slotted home into the far corner.

Egypt immediately pressed for the equaliser, Hany Said coming close in the 19th minute when his shot drifted wide after some patient build up play.

We didn't give up. I think we deserved the victory.

Mohamed Zidan

Nigeria had a penalty shout moments later when Hany Said looked to have blocked Yakubu's cross with his arm - but the referee ruled ball-to-hand.

Aside from Nigeria's goal, there was little to separate the two teams in the first half, as both provided quality not yet seen in this year's competition.

Egypt's deserved equaliser came in the 34th minute when goalkeeper Victor Enyeama rushed out to meet Ahmed Hassan's through ball.

Moteab beat him to it and managed to slip the ball into an empty net to make it 1-1.

The Pharaohs went into the lead in the 54th minute when captain Hassan looked to fire a brilliant shot in from long range, only for subsequent TV replays to show a sizable deflection off Nigeria defender Taye Taiwo, wrong-footing the goalkeeper and sailing into the net.

Moteab should have doubled his tally in the 60th minute when he beat the offside trap only to lash his shot over from inside the penalty area.

Egyptian goalkeeper Esam el-Hadary celebrates after his team beat Nigeria
Egypt's el-Hadary celebrates as the final whistle blew in Benguela

Mohamed Zidan came close two minutes later with a curling free-kick which forced a good diving save from Enyeama at his right-hand post.

Nigeria patiently pressed for an equaliser as they began to dominate possession towards the closing stages of the match.

Taiwo came close in the 75th minute with low driven shot which was well gathered by al-Hadary.

But it was substitute Gado who finished off a counter attack in the 87th minute with a well placed shot to put the game beyond Nigeria's reach at 3-1.

"We didn't give up," said Zidan. "I think we deserved the victory."

Egypt: El Hadari, Fathallah, Said, Moawad, Gomaa, Fathi, Abd Rabou (Gedo 72), Ghaly (El Mohamady 56), Hassan, Zidan (Abdelshafy 84), Moteab.

Subs Not Used: Abdoul-Saoud, Salem, El Sakka, Eid, Tawfik, Shikabala, Raouf, Hamdy, Wahid.

Goals: Moteab 34, Hassan 54, Gedo 87.

Nigeria: Enyeama, Yobo, Taiwo, Nwaneri, Mohammed, Mikel (Kanu 79), Yussuf, Uche (Obinna 69), Etuhu, Obasi Ogbuke, Yakubu.

Subs Not Used: Ejide, Apam, Echiejile, Kaita, Martins, Odemwingie, Odiah, Olofinjana, Shittu, Aiyenugbu.

Booked: Nwaneri.

Goals: Obasi Ogbuke 12.

Att: 18,000

Ref: Rajin Seechurn (Mauritius).

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see also
Africa Cup of Nations photos
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Eneramo axed by Nigeria
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Nigeria wait on Martins fitness
30 Dec 09 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
07 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations tables
07 Jan 10 |  African

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