First things first: the best team won. Many, including myself, dismissed Egypt's chances of defending their crown because of a ropey qualifying campaign and because they lost a number of important players from their 2006 squad. But the Pharaohs showed that their domestic league continues to cultivate quality footballers.
In 2006, Mohamed Zidan chose club over country and missed out on Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations win in Cairo. Fast forward two years to Accra on Sunday and the Hamburg striker was right in the thick of the Pharoahs' successful title defence. Zidan set up Mohamed Aboutraika for the decisive 77th-minute goal in the 1-0 victory over Cameroon.
Egypt retained their Africa Cup of Nations crown on Sunday when Mohamed Aboutraika lifted the champions to a 1-0 win over Cameroon and a record sixth title. The defending champions ensured they held on to the trophy when, after a slick passing movement, Aboutraika struck in the 77th minute. "We are delighted to win. It's a great achievement," said the al-Ahly star.
Defending champions Egypt continued their African Nations Cup title defence by beating neighbours Sudan 3-0 in Group C on Saturday. Egypt top the group with six points from two matches while Cameroon moved into second spot after their 5-1 hammering of Zambia.
The goals continued to flow at the Africa Cup of Nations with nine more on Tuesday taking the tally to 20 and a promise of more attacking play to come on Wednesday. Mohamed Zidan scored two spectacular goals in the first half on Tuesday to lead defending champion Egypt to a 4-2 win over shaky Cameroon.
Holders Egypt head the list of heavyweight contenders seeking to confirm their qualification for next year's African Nations Cup finals this weekend. A win in Burundi on Sunday would ensure Egypt finish top of their group and join the seven teams already through to the 16-team finals being hosted by Ghana in January.