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Pharaohs aim for third consecutive title

With 14 goals in five matches, Egypt have impressed almost everyone at this year’s AFCON, and many pundits strongly believe they will carry that momentum…

With 14 goals in five matches, Egypt have impressed almost everyone at this year’s AFCON, and many pundits strongly believe they will carry that momentum into match day today. But Hassan Shehata and his boys are not interested in all the analyses, predictions and criticisms.

They are looking to perform and deliver today by playing their kind of football, winning in that familiar style of theirs and making sure that they go into the history books.

The Pharaohs are aware it’s going to be a tough final and they could be given a nasty shock if they underestimate Ghana. But the North Africans are too experienced to fall into this trap.

Shehata, like in every other match, has already outlined an appropriate game plan, which he will be exhibiting against the Black Stars this evening. Youthful exuberance, fighting spirit and the ability to endure tough pressure may not be enough for Ghana to conquer the Pharaohs who have seen more than their fair share of high-octane matches.

Mission almost accomplished for the Black Stars

If one team in the 2010 African Nations Cup has surprised many critics, it is Ghana. Plagued by injuries, absentees, and a foiled start against the Ivory Coast, the Black Stars have swum back ashore and about to dine at the lord’s table.

Egypt seem formidable, but Milovan Rajevac’s boys will not be looking them straight in the face and yielding out on the turf. Ghana will try to stick to their own gameplan and refuse to be enslaved by the Pharaohs’ strategy, which may lead to a final humiliation.

Resisting and beating host nation Angola and getting the backing of a sea of supporters has given the Black Stars extra motivation and drive and that will be their secret weapon against Egypt in the final.

The general support will tilt towards Ghana because of what the young and inexperienced players have been able to do so far in Angola. But in football, especially in a final, a rowdy support is like water off a duck’s back. It never influences an outcome; and the Black Stars know it. They are, however, capable of playing and winning their match on merits.

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