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Page last updated at 18:15 GMT, Sunday, 31 January 2010

Africa Cup of Nations final as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

By Alistair Magowan

1813: Just how Egypt have such a bad World Cup qualifying record is something to debate long and hard into the night, but I suspect it will be more a celebration on the streets of Cairo this evening. If you want to see the Pharaohs in action, they are coincidently England's next opponents in a friendly on 3 March at Wembley. I would suspect they would have a fair few fans present to salute them at that one. Right I'm off for a lie-down. Thanks for all your contributions during the tournament, we may meet again for the big one in South Africa. I'm just sorry Egypt cannot join us. See you.

1808: So the curtain comes down on another Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt deserved winners, I would say. They scored the most goals, had talent all over the pitch and kept their cool when they needed to. What a shame they are not going to the World Cup.

1804: AndyRAC on 606: "Disappointed Egypt won it - totally undeserved. How they've won it three times in a row is a mystery. They're so good they can't make the World Cup."

1802: Lots of trophies being handed out to all sorts of players on the pitch but the only one that counts is the Cup of Nations title. That is Egypt's seventh such trophy. And by winning three on the trot you would like to think they get to keep it. Mohamed Gedo also gets the golden boot with five strikes. Does he deserve to start now?

1758: Just watching the goal again and it was some strike. Perfectly weighted one-two, over a fair distance as well, and the finish was right in the corner. Perfect decision by coach Hassan Shehata while chumps like me were calling for Mohamed Gedo to come on earlier. Have some of that!

1756: strictlymad on 606: "Super sub Gedo strikes again"

1754: It took only one moment of magic from Mohamed Gedo and the Pharaohs have earned their third Africa Cup of Nations title on the bounce. They are already celebrating on the goalposts. Fantastic achievement.

1753: FULL-TIME Ghana 0-1 Egypt

1752: Ghana are lobbing everyone forward and from a cross, the ball just did not fall for Eric Addo. Gutting.

1751: Kwadwo Asamoah Opoku has gone off for Ghana, replaced by Eric Addo, while Egypt's Ahmed Fathi is also replaced by Salem Moatasem. Three minutes of stoppage time.

1748: Not sure why, but Asamoah Gyan has gone off for Dominic Adiyiah. That goal came in the 85th minute. Is there time for Ghana to reply?

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Egypt goal: Can you believe it? It's that man again Mohamed Gedo. He plays a lovely one-two on the edge of the box and the tournament's top scorer takes his tally to five with a fantastic curling finish around the keeper.

1744: GOAL Ghana 0-1 Egypt

1742: Into the last 10 minutes now and one moment will decide this if we are to avoid extra-time. It's at moments like this when my favourite cliché comes to the fore: fortune favours the brave. It does, you know.

1739: Risky business. Essam El-Hadary, in goal for Egypt, punches Asamoah Gyan's free-kick rather than palming it away and it was almost as bad as the effort by the Cameroon keeper in the quarter-finals, but it goes out for a corner. Ghana then roll a cross along the six-yard line but no-one is there to capitalise.

1737: The Egypt keeper looks in trouble before Mohamed Zidan clatters Emmanuel Agyemang on the edge of the box for a free-kick for Ghana.

1735: From Jonathan from London via text: "The battle between Gomaa and Gyan is a classic."

1733: Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac swallows hard on the sidelines, the crowd are ramping up the noise and all we need is a goal to send them nuts. Andre Ayew is brought down on the edge of the Egyptian penalty box but the referee is having none of it. Asamoah Gyan then fires over.

1729: That's the last of the action for Emad Motaeb who is replaced by Mohamed Gedo. Let's have it - goals I mean!

1727: So Richard Kingson has stopped taking goal-kicks. But Egypt have not asked him enough questions if he is indeed crocked. Ahmed Hassan slots a fantastic pass through to Emad Motaeb but he cannot control when clean through and the Ghana defence recovers. Getting livelier now with an Egyptian penalty shout, but it's waved away.

1723: Kerry Katona's #1 fan on 606: "I think I have found a substitute for sleeping pills..."

1721: Asamoah Gyan receives the ball about 35 yards out from a quick free-kick, and his shot is just wide. In fact, half the stadium thought it went in as the ball bulged in the side netting. Getting closer.

Yellow card
1719: Egypt's Hossam Ghaly goes into the book as the cards begin to wrack up. It feels like something is building, not sure what, but something.

1718: dee on 606: "Come on someone break the deadlock already!"

1716: Andre Ayew shapes to hit a decent shot but it's wide and, yes, we have a change at last. Mohamed Abdel Shafy, who scored very soon after coming on against Algeria, is on for Sayed Moawad.

Yellow card
1712: So now the reverse booking. Ahmed El-Mohamady gets a yellow card for a pull back on Aygemang Opoku. From the free-kick Asamoah Gyan curls one over the wall and the Egypt keeper tips it over but a goal-kick is given. Baffling.

1710: Blanket defence again by Ghana and Ahmed Hassan tries his luck from range again. Wide, wide, wide.

1709: RKW - Heart and Pole on 606: "It baffles me how Egypt do so well in the Africa Cup of Nations, yet they cannot quality for any of the World Cups. Answers, anyone?"

Yellow card
1707: Ooof. Aygemang Opoku jumps in two-footed on Ahmed El-Mohamady and the Ghanaian is lucky to be only booked. Sayed Moawad also goes into the book for a handball but the offences were hardly comparable.

1704: Any changes yet? Er, no. We are under way again in Luanda. 45 minutes left in this tournament.

1701: Radamis on 606: "This first half of the game, the Egyptians were playing it cool trying to feel out the Ghanaian team. In the second half Ghana should be aware that the fireworks will begin."

1700: So come on then, what can Hassan Shehata and Milovan Rajevac do to win this? Answers on an electronic-type postcard please!

1657: From The Golden Pharaoh in London via text: "Alistair why you only publish the Ghanaian opinions and comments and not the Egyptians as well, that's not a fifa fair play thing."
That fair play now sir?

1654: PrentonParkLife on 606: "Ghana seem to have parked the bus by putting 10 men behind the ball when Egypt have possession. They are frustrating Egypt and it's made for a very boring game of football."

1652: Well, not much to get too excited about in the first half. Ghana look like they are more comfortable with this sort of match and it could play into their viper-like hands. Egypt look like they need a change, Mohamed Gedo anyone? The fact that Ghana centre-back Lee Addy has been one of the best players tells you everything.

1649: HALF-TIME Ghana 0-0 Egypt

1647: Canadian Sunset on 606: Re: 1637 "Something tells me, you might change your mind."

Vuvuzela
1645: You get the sense that the crowd are behind Ghana as Asamoah Gyan is challenged but the free-kick goes Egypt's way and the stands erupt in disapproval.

Champagne moment
1642: A bit cat-and-mouse in Luanda. Is this playing into the hands of the Black Stars? Meanwhile, TV pictures show one of the young subs on the Ghanaian bench chewing on a baby's dummy - a champagne moment!

1638: Actually Manchester United are 2-0 up now so that's game over. All you fans with club v country issues can now rest easy and stay here.

1637: strike of the cescy verminator on 606: "Sorry Ghana!! Even as a Ghanaian I have a rather bigger Arsenal heart and will be found more on the Arsenal game live text page! Still trusting you though."
You traitor! Anyway Manchester United have just taken a 1-0 lead.

1633: Emad Motaeb wins a free-kick as he gets clattered from Isaac Vorsah deep on the left. But when the cross comes in it is headed away well by Lee Addy. Ghana look comfortable from crosses here.

1631: Fair play to Asamoah Gyan, he runs all day for his team as the lone man up front and never seems to moan at his Ghanaian brethren as they fail to support him again. Many wouldn't.

1629: Mohamed Zidan shoots from a fair way out but it is a weak effort. I see that the Egyptian striker has a heart and a football shaved into his head for the occasion. Sweet.

1626: Andre Ayew makes a break with only Asamoah Gyan to help him. The Black Stars need to support better from midfield. Moments later Kwadwo Asamoah shoots from about 25 yards but it is straight at the keeper. First decent effort.

1623: Nice ball in by Ahmed Hassan but there is no-one in the box to challenge. Previously, the Egypt captain tries his luck again from distance. Bit cagey here with few chances so far - as you might expect in a final.

Vuvuzela
1619: Egypt keeper Essam El-Hadary punches clear from a corner and again the Ghana defence looks a bit shaky. Some right good costumes in the crowd, although I'm not sure how some of the owners can see the game!

1616: Egypt captain Ahmed Hassan is determined to write history himself as he fires over from a long way out. Ghana keeper Richard Kingson looks like he is hobbling and has already kicked with his left foot. A worrying sign.

1614: From Olaxupo in Nigeria via text: "I really expect to see a tight and interesting match, but I think they will both cancel each other out."

1612: Good effort from danger man Asamoah Gyan but his shot is deflected wide for a corner. Essam El-Hadary in goal looks a bit shaky from the cross but the Pharaohs clear.

1610: Egypt's Emad Moteab is fed the ball in the penalty area and he ends up on his bum after a robust challenge, with the Ghana defence only able to hack it away. Nothing comes from the corner though. A good atmosphere, I can tell you.

1607: Ghana are quick to get back behind the ball with Asamoah Gyan their only outlet up front. Perfect counter-attacking set-up and it's worked for them so far. The question is though: what happens if Egypt score first?

1605: From Addae Mensah from Accra via text: "Go Ghana go. Defy all the odds and win the trophy for us."

1604: Positive start for Ghana but Mohamed Zidan is sniffing around the Black Stars defence like a blood-thirsty hound.

1602: So for the last time in Angola, we get under way at the 11 Novembre Stadium in Luanda. Give us a good 'un boys.

1558: As the national anthems play, news just in that the referee from the Algeria-Egypt semi-final, Bonaventure Koffi Codjai, has been suspended indefinitely.

1556: strictlymad on 606: "What does Mohamed Gedo need to do, to get a starting berth?"

Vuvuzela
1555: A host of dignitaries are introduced to the two teams, including Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Lots of Angolans in the crowd too, making a right old racket.

1553: Don't forget that you can watch the whole match right here on this website if you live in the UK. And if you are old school and like the telly, you can also tune in on BBC Two.

1550: Marcel Desailly on BBC Two: "Ghana have already won by reaching the final. I would love to see Ghana win and that is what my heart says, but my head says Egypt will win."

1546: TEAM NEWS Ghana v Egypt
Ghana are unchanged from their semi-final win over Nigeria and include five of the team which beat Brazil on penalties in the U-20 World Cup.
Egypt make one change with former Spurs midfielder Hossam Ghaly coming in for the suspended Mahmoud Fathallah.

1542: If you want to chip in on Sunday's big one (what do you mean Arsenal v Manchester United?) you can text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (the world), tap, tap, tap away on 606 or send Richard Connelly a message on Twitter.

1538: TEAMS Ghana v Egypt
Ghana: Kingson, Inkoom, Vorsah, Sarpei, Addy, Badu, Ayew, Asamoah, Agyemang, Annan, Gyan.
Egypt: El-Hadary, Fathi, Said, Gomaa, El-Mohamady, Moawad, Abd Rabou, Ghaly, Hassan, Zidan, Motaeb.

1535: So time for a quick briefing. Egypt are on the rolls of all rolls, looking for their third Africa Cup of Nations title on the bounce and having won their last 18 matches in the tournament. Ghana, meanwhile, are without many of their established stars but have shown the same strength of will that saw their youth side win the U-20 World Cup back in October. Five of that squad start this evening in Luanda so they know something about winning the big ones.

1530: Although the Confederation of African Football has done its best to overshadow the Africa Cup of Nations final with its ludicrous banning of Togo from the next two tournaments, shall we stick to the script? Good. It's Ghana v Egypt and no matter which team wins, their respective stories should hopefully ensure that this spectacle ends on a heart-warming note.



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see also
Ghana 0-1 Egypt
31 Jan 10 |  African
Referee Codjia suspended by Caf
31 Jan 10 |  African
Algeria 0-4 Egypt
28 Jan 10 |  African
Ghana 1-0 Nigeria
28 Jan 10 |  African
Zambia 0-0 Nigeria (4-5 pens)
25 Jan 10 |  African
Egypt 3-1 Cameroon (aet)
25 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 0-1 Ghana
24 Jan 10 |  African
Ivory Coast 2-3 Algeria (aet)
24 Jan 10 |  African


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