Egypt secured a record seventh Africa Cup of Nations title, after beating Ghana 1-0 in a tense final in Angola. Substitute Mohamed Gedo scored the only goal of the game, playing a neat one-two before curling a superb shot past Richard Kingson in the 85th minute.
Gedo's winner came against the run of play, but Milovan Rajevac's young Ghana side failed to create many openings. Gedo finished the tournament as the top scorer and Egypt became the first team to win three successive titles.
The final will not go down as a classic, but it proved to be a tight and absorbing affair in Luanda. Ghana set out from the start to execute a well-organised game-plan of crowding out the Egyptians in midfield and defence, while looking to feed their front men quickly.
Centre-half Isaac Vorsah in particular looked very authoritative at the back for Ghana. But Egypt remained organised and solid, as they did throughout the tournament, and succeeded in cutting out many of Ghana's attacks. The Black Stars started brightly and had promising spells throughout, with striker Asamoah Gyan having the majority of their best chances.
Gyan's early free kick hit the Egyptian wall and from the resulting corner, the ball fell back to the striker, who attempted an ambitious overhead kick, which sailed over Essam El Hadary's goal.
Egypt were mainly reduced to shooting from distance, with captain Ahmed Hassan's repeated efforts from outside the box showing a level of early frustration. Late in the first half, Hassan clearly handled a free-kick from Hosni Abd Rabou at the far post in an attempt to palm it goalwards, but the offence was not spotted by the referee.
Substitute Mohamed Gedo scored the game's only goal to secure the titleAfter a tight first half, which yielded little in terms of clear shots on goal, Ghana began to impose themselves on a cautious Egypt side.And their best spell came in the last 20 minutes, with Gyan seeing two excellent efforts on goal go begging.
On 73 minutes, a long and patient build-up from the Black Stars almost produced an opener when Gyan rounded it off by curling a beautiful shot just over the bar.Five minutes later Gyan unleashed another fierce in-swinging effort from outside the area, this time from a free-kick, which was punched away unconvincingly by El Hadary in the Egypt goal.
Then Opoku Agyemang broke into the box and squared to Kwadwo Asamoah, who just could not connect.Ghana were then punished for not putting their chances away when Gedo broke into the box at pace and played a wonderful one-two with Mohamed Zidan, before excellently tucking the ball home across Kingson's goal and into the far corner.
The goal made him the top marksman in the tournament with five goals, all of them coming as a substitute. It was also his sixth goal in only eight appearances for Egypt.The Ghanaians desperately tried to get back into the game in the final few minutes.
Asamoah struck a near-post shot just past El Hadary's upright on 90 minutes after more Ghana pressure, but desperately watched it go wide. And an injury-time chance fell to substitute Eric Addo in the six-yard area, who just could not convert it.
Egypt held on for their record seventh title and their team and fans celebrated wildly on the final whistle, as the Pharoahs confirmed their status as kings of the Nations Cup tournament. But there were also some ugly scenes amid the celebrations, as security forces prevented Zidan from celebrating with his own fans.
Egypt assistant coach Shawky Garib paid tribute to Ghana's performance, after the Black Stars overcame a slew of injuries to come close to claiming their first title in 28 years.
"I'd like to congratulate Ghana for what they did," he said
"It's important to take your chance, and we took it.
"But we respect the Ghana team, they played a very good match."
Garib also acknowledged how difficult a task the Egyptians had in winning yet another African title.
"We said we were the champions from the first day we arrived in Angola, and we would defend our title," he said.
"We have won three titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010. This was the most difficult of all of them."
Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac, who led his young Ghana side to their first final in 18 years, said his team's lack of experience showed in the end.
"We are not so experienced, we wanted to win it so badly in our hearts but in the end Egyptian experience was crucial," he said.
Ghana: Kingson, Addy, Inkoom, Sarpei, Vorsah, Annan, Andre Ayew, Agyemang (Addo 89), Asamoah, Agyemang-Badu, Gyan (Adiyah 87).
Subs Not Used: Adjei, Osei, Mensah, Narry, Amoah, Rahim Ayew, Afful, Draman, McCarthy.
Egypt: El Hadary, El Mohamady, Said, Gomaa, Moawad (Abdelshafy 57), Fathi (Salem 89), Abd Rabou, Hassan, Ghaly, Zidan, Moteab (Gedo 70).
Subs Not Used: Abdoul-Saoud, Fathallah, El Sakka, Eid, Tawfik, Wahid, Shikabala, Raouf, Hamdy.
Booked: Moawad, El Mohamady, Ghaly.
Goals: Gedo 85.
Ref: Koman Coulibaly (Mali).
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