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Egypt win record sixth title

It is only the third time a team have successfully defended the title after the pharaohs previously achieved the feat in 1959 and Cameroon in 2002.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters, Accra
UPDATED ON JUN 07, 2012 05:04 PM IST

Egypt successfully defended the African Nations Cup then they beat Cameroon 1-0 in Sunday's final with a goal 13 minutes from time by Mohamed Aboutrika.


The Egyptians extended to six their record number of titles but not before overcoming a physically tough challenge from four-times champions Cameroon.


Aboutrika applied the finishing touch to a square pass from Mohamed Zidan, after the striker had robbed possession from Cameroon's veteran captain Rigobert Song on the edge of the penalty area in the 77th minute.


The nature of the goal reflected a bruising battle between the African footballing superpowers, who had met in their opening group match when Egypt won 4-2.


Egypt created the majority of the chances but were thwarted by some fine stops from Cameroon goalkeeper Idriss Carlos Kameni.


He was central to the key incidents of the first half, botching a clearance in the 12th minute that landed at the feet of Egypt striker Amr Zaki, who missed a clear chance by striking the ball wide of goal.


Kameni redeemed himself with a brave save at point blank range from Emad Moteab, who had been sent clear on goal by a superb pass over the top of the defence in the 36th minute.


ETO'O MARKED


Shortly after the break, Kameni made a flying save to deny Egypt midfielder Hosni Abd Rabou, who was named the player of the tournament, diving to palm away a powerful drive.


Cameroon sought to catch Egypt on the counter-attack but rarely found top scorer Samuel Eto'o, whose best effort came 10 minutes before halftime when a burst of pace saw him shrug of his marker but he then shot across the face of goal.


After conceding the goal, Cameroon pushed forward and twice forced Egypt goalkeeper Essam Al Hadari to parry away the ball.


Song almost made up for his error when he headed narrowly over the top just seconds from the end.


Cameroon gambled on the fitness of midfielder Alexandre Song, who suffered a thigh injury in the semi-final on Thursday and did not train before the game. He had a last fitness test before being included in the starting line-up but limped off after just 16 minutes.


It was only the second time that Cameroon have been beaten in six final appearances -- both times by Egypt.

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