Sunday’s African Cup of Nations final sees Egypt line up against Cameroon in a game that is a repeat of the 2008 final which was won by the Pharaohs.
Egypt are the most successful team in African Cup of Nations history having won a record 51 games, scoring a record 154 goals and winning 7 tournaments including the first tournament in 1957 and three tournament s in a row in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
However, Egypt failed to qualify in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and Egyptian football has been thrown into turmoil in recent years with fan and police violence and the Arab Spring having brought violence on a massive scale into football stadia.
Egypt have been one of the tournament favorites from the start and have three players from the Premier League in Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke), as well as former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah. However they have hardly set the tournament alight – drawing against Mali in their first game and beating Uganda and Ghana 1-0 to win their group. They beat Morocco 1-0 in the quarter-final and were fortunate to go through to the final, beating Burkina Faso on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Cameroon have a glorious African Cup of Nations history, having won the tournament in 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2002.
However, they came into this tournament as underdogs, not least as eight players made themselves unavailable for selection before the tournament started including Liverpool’s Joël Matip, West Bromwich Albion’s Alan Nyom, Schalke’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Nancy’s Guy N’Dy Assembé, Bordeaux’s Maxime Poundjé, Ajax’s Andre Onana, Marseille’s André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Lille’s Ibrahim Amadou.
If we look at the bet365 app we can see that Cameroon at evens to lift the trophy with Egypt at 5/6. However, Cameroon’s young guns have defied the odds at every stage of this tournament, qualifying from Group A and then knocking out favorites Senegal in the quarter-final and the mighty (but serially under-performing) Ghana in the semi-final, so the final looks to be finely balanced with Hugo Broos’ side far from overawed by opponents who may look superior on paper.
The game kicks off at 7pm UK time in the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, Gabon and, thanks to a last minute deal, is available on Eurosport on the Sky platform.
Cameroon did indeed win the final, against the odds, even coming from a goal behind to records a glorious victory.