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2008 Africa Cup of Nations
Egypt tame Cameroon's Lions
The African champions show they are ready to defend their title with a 4-2 win.
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2008 19:50 GMT

The Egyptians built a pyramid to celebrate one of their four goals against Cameroon [Reuters]

Egypt, defending champions, sent out a warning to their 2008 Africa Cup of Nations rivals with a convincing 4-2 victory over Cameroon in their opening Group C match in Kumasi.
The first encounter of Group C involved two countries who have won the Cup nine times between them, but in the end Egypt triumphed easily despite missing several key stars.
The Pharaohs opened the scoring in the 14th minute via a Hosni Abd Rabou penalty, and increased their advantage just two minutes later through a breakaway goal from Mohamed Zidan.
 
Zidan had his second in first-half stoppage time with a left-foot cracker from outside the box, shocking the highly fancied Cameroonians and giving Egypt a stunning 3-0 halftime lead.
 
The Indomitable Lions pulled a goal back six minutes into the second half when Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o headed home from a Geremi Njitap cross, before Abd Rabou bagged his second with an 81st minute belter to put the result beyond doubt.
 

"We will give everything to our fans and the country."

Mohamed Zidan,
Egypt striker

Eto'o made the scoreline a little more respectable for Cameroon with a penalty kick in the dying stages, but it was Egypt's night as they threw down the gauntlet to their title challengers.
 
"Winning means a lot to me, to the team and to the whole country," said Hamburg striker Zidan, who was named player of the match.
 
"We're a strong team, and we're not here to just be a member of the tournament, we're here to show we're strong enough to win the title for a second time in a row.
 
"We will give everything to our fans and the country."
 
Three players, six goals
 


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Egypt had the better of the early exchanges and were rewarded when Cameroon's Reading defender Andre Bikey handled the ball inside the box for a penalty which Abd Rabou tucked away at the second attempt after his first effort was overruled by Gambian referee Madou Sowe.
 
Zidan's two goals were beautifully taken, the first clinically finished after a swift counter attack, and the second an unstoppable shot from long range.
 
Halftime substitutes Alexandre Song and Achille Emana saw the Lions roar back to life early in the first half, with Eto'o's goal setting the tone for a more interesting contest.
 
Cameroon pressed forward, and Eto's 63rd minute pile driver narrowly missed the target.
 
However it was the Egyptians who again got on the scoreboard through Abd Rabou in the 81st minute when he fired home from 30 metres, beating keeper Kameni for the defencding champions' fourth goal, before Eto grabbed his brace in the final minutes.
Source:
Agencies
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