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Page last updated at 19:04 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Egypt 2-0 Benin

By Dave Lee

Benin goalkeeper Yoann Djidonou tries to save a shot from Emad Moteab
Benin's Yoann Djidonou could not keep out Emad Moteab's shot

An impressive Egypt take a convincing 100% record into the next round after easily beating Benin.

Ahmed Al Muhammadi's cross somehow drifted its way into the net to put The Pharaohs ahead.

Emad Moteab made it 2-0 after 24 minutes - the linesman ruling the ball over the line despite goalkeeper Yoann Djidonou's best efforts to clear.

A string of fine saves from Djidonou in the second half saved Benin from a harsher defeat.

Egypt knew they were assured of a quarter-final place after beating Nigeria and Mozambique in previous games.

But a determined Benin were just not good enough for an Egypt side which looked every bit a team defending the Africa Cup of Nations title.

Benin goalkeeper Djidonou will rightly feel at fault for the first goal, but his second-half performance certainly made up for it.

There were glimmers of hope for Benin going forward, particularly from a lively Arnaud Seka and Djiman Koukou - the two linking up on several occasions to carve out decent chances.

Defender Al Muhammadi opened Egypt's account after just eight minutes.

An attempted cross from the right flank somehow bamboozled Djidonou and floated into the net.

Despite the early goal, Benin responded well.

We have taken some lessons from this experience and we will continue to work hard for us to do far better next time.

Benin coach Michel Dussuyer

After 12 minutes, Pascal Angan tried his luck when he spotted Essam El Hadari - who made a surprise start - off his line. The effort went wide of the right-hand post.

Minutes later, a long range shot from Koukou drifted wide.

Benin suffered a further blow when Emad Moteab scored for the Egyptians 24 minutes in.

Djidonou scrambled to keep the close-range shot out - but the linesman immediately flagged for the goal. Television replays were inconclusive.

Two goals up and Egypt really began to show their dominance.

It could have been 3-0 when Ahmed Raouf headed an effort straight at the goalkeeper in the 28th minute.

For Benin, Seka and Koukou showed off some stylish link-up play in the 37th minute - their quick one-two passes leading to a decent chance for Koukou who couldn't get any power behind his shot.

In the second half, Egypt willingly soaked up considerable amounts of pressure, but always looked likely to add a third goal with every attack.

In the 55th minute, Djidonou rushed off his line to deny Moteab a second as he advanced onto a through ball from Ahmed Hassan.

Mohammed Zidan - who came on as a substitute - forced another fine save from Djidonou when he skipped around three Benin defenders with some tidy footwork.

Egypt players celebrate Emad Moteab's first goal
Egypt had the game beyond Benin's reach before the second half

From the resulting corner, Djidonou kept out Hassan's shot from just outside the box.

Egypt assistant coach Shawki Gharib was pleased with his team's performance.

"We should have scored more goals, but it was also important that we won this game.

"We threw away several chances, but we also have to give some credit to the Benin goalkeeper, who pulled off several saves."

Benin coach Michel Dussuyer was disappointed to be knocked out, but feels his side can build on their performances in the competition.

"We were unlucky not to make the impact we had hoped for here," he said after the game.

"We have taken some lessons from this experience and we will continue to work hard for us to do far better next time."

Egypt are the only team to emerge from the group stages with maximum points - and will play their quarter-final against the runners up from Group D on Monday.

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see also
Mozambique 2-2 Benin
12 Jan 10 |  African
Nigeria 1-0 Benin
16 Jan 10 |  African
Egypt 2-0 Mozambique
16 Jan 10 |  African
Egypt 3-1 Nigeria
12 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
07 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations tables
07 Jan 10 |  African

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