The Pharaohs Rule Africa. Again.

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The result was never really in doubt but it was a lot of fun getting here. Egypt beat Ghana 1-0 in the final to secure a record-breaking third Africa Cup of Nations trophy in a row.

Although the Black Stars raised more than a few eyebrows with their dominating performance tonight, the Pharaohs always had another gear and wily manager Shehata another trick up his sleeve. It was his timely decision to bring on substitute Mohame Gedo that won him the game.

Before the match, Mohamed Zidan told PUMAFootball he felt just one mistake would decide the result. And he was right. In the 85th minute, Gedo dashed into Ghana’s box, played a neat one-two with Zizou and smashed the ball into the far corner.

There was just enough time for Ghana to have one last close call. A last gasp free-kick saw seven Black Stars pile into the area in the hope of forcing the draw. But it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, the team is clearly bursting with young talent and are an exciting prospect for FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

No one could come close to Egypt though. Throughout CAN 2010 they were the best team by far. The only side to win every one of their games, they scored 15 goals and conceded only two. The fact that this team will now go down in history is a fitting tribute, not just to their winning mentality, but to the thrilling football they’ve played - as Zidan also showed on his head (!) - with equal skill and love.

Of course, Egypt haven’t been the only stars of the tournament. Angola would have been nothing without the fans. And they too raised their game for the final. Just getting to our seats in the stadium today, PUMAFootball encountered a plethora of nutters: the ‘Angolan pope’ who insisted on blessing all and sundry with a stale bread roll, two Pharaohs with pyramids on their heads and, lastly, a goat wearing sunglasses.

Of course, having seen what we have over the last month, this kind of silliness was to be expected, but even we were surprised when two spacemen jet-packed into the stadium with the trophy. A fitting end, we think, to a tournament that has been truly out of this world.

Football