Sun, Feb 5, 2:20pm by Head Editor
Date and Time: Monday February 6, 6:00am AEDT
Venue: Stade de l’Amitié, Libreville, Gabon
TV: Live on Bein Sports
After being absent from the last three editions of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Egyptians will be aiming for their eighth African title when they meet four-time winner Cameroon in the final on Monday morning at 6am AEDT.
The AFCON final is sure to be filled with suspense, with Cameroon seeking revenge after the Pharaohs snatched the title from them in the final in 2008. That match ended 1-0, thanks to a goal scored by Mohamed Aboutrika in the 76th minute.
Egypt secured their place in the final after it defeated Burkina Faso on Thursday (AEDT) 4-3 in a penalty shootout, with their goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary being named the man of the match after his save in the shootout saw his country through.
The 44-year-old shot-stopper now has a chance to win his fifth AFCON title, having won his first in 1998. The veteran is in good form too, the only goal he’s conceded this tournament came in that match.
24 hours later Cameroon qualified with a win over the heavily-fancied Ghana, who were tipped to win the tournament by our very own Bren O’Brien at the juicy odds of $10 and our man was only 110 minutes away from cashing in.
The ‘Indomitable Lions’ broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute when Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui took advantage of some atrocious defending from Ghana at a set-piece to lash in the opener.
Then, with seconds remaining Christian Bassogog sealed victory when he applied a classy finish to a counter-attack. Cameroon’s squad has changed significantly since the appointment of Hugo Broos as manager in February 2016, but he is confident his youthful line-up can cause an upset.
Cameroon has won the prestigious AFCON cup four times: 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2002.
The Pharaohs, who were among the tournament favourites from the outset in Gabon, were victorious in 2006, 2008 and 2010 before failing to qualify for the next three editions in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Egypt have three players who are currently plying their trade in the Premier League – defender Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull) and midfielders Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) and Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke), as well as former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah.
I’m backing the more experienced Egyptian line-up to win the trophy and book their place in June’s Confederations Cup in Russia.
Suggested Bet: Egypt to win: $2.90
Under (2.5 Goals) $1.35
Over (2.5 Goals) $3.05
Egypt / Egypt $4.50
Draw / Egypt $6
Cameroon / Egypt $41
Egypt / Draw $14
Draw / Draw $3.60
Cameroon / Draw $15
Egypt / Cameroon $41
Draw / Cameroon $6
Cameroon / Cameroon $5
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