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Egypt in African Nations Cup semis

February 05, 2008 10:33 IST

A fortunate bounce off the body of striker Amr Zaki was enough to ensure Egypt retained hopes of a successful African Nations Cup title defence with a 2-1 win over Angola in their quarter-final on Monday.

Zaki's 38th-minute goal proved the winner at Kumasi's Baba Yara stadium, setting up a semi-final with the Ivory Coast at the same venue on Thursday.

Angola defender Kali failed to clear a cross from fullback Sayed Moawad and the ball spun right in front of goal, bouncing up just above the knees of Zaki and off him into the net.

Egypt had opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Angola captain Andre jumped up to block a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and the ball hit his hand. Hosni Abd Rabou converted for his fourth goal of the tournament.

The lead lasted all of four minutes before Manucho thundered a cracking left-footed shot from outside the penalty area.

Egypt had a series of second half opportunities thwarted by Angola goalkeeper Lama, who pulled off some fine saves.

"Angola played with tactics and great heart but we had a really good game. We are looking forward to playing the Ivorians and all our players are fighting to keep the title," said Egypt assistant coach Shawky Gharib.

Angola faded out of the contest in the closing stages of their first appearance in the quarter-finals.

"We were not the lucky side today," said Angola coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves.

"We have built a team that has the strength to challenge the defending champions and we have already beaten some of the big sides on the continent. We are on the rise and Africa can count on us to be around for a while."

Angola host the next Nations Cup finals in 2010.

The Kumasi semi-final will be a repeat of the 2006 final in Cairo, which the Egyptians won on penalties.

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