Substitute Mohamed Nagui scored a winner five minutes from time to hand Egypt an unprecedented third successive African Nations Cup title after a 1-0 victory over Ghana on Sunday.
It was a far from impressive performance from the Egyptians but a rare attack right near the end saw Nagui, with his fifth goal of the tournament, snatch a record seventh African championship for his country.
He curled a shot into the Ghana net from a tight angle after a smart one-two with striker Mohamed Zidan, who had been largely anonymous throughout the game.
Ghana, badly affected by injury to key players, had surprised with their progress to the final but despite an inexperienced line-up they took the game to their opponents.
Egypt, who missed out on qualification for this year’s World Cup finals, started with nine of their winning team from two years ago while only two of Ghana’s side had been born when they last won the Nations Cup in 1982.
Ghana created more of the limited chances in a cagey game, devoid of any tempo and pace in the muggy and humid conditions in the Angolan capital.
Striker Asamoah Gyan, who played a lone role upfront, was full of enterprise and came close with several efforts, all of them from outside the box.
Most of the goal-bound efforts came from long-range shots as both defences held tight for most of the game and players retreated quickly behind the ball when without possession.
Egypt did have two opportunities midway through the second half when both Emad Moteab and Zidane were let down by their first touch.
Ghana might have forced the game into extra time with the last attack of the match after a cross from Samuel Inkoom evaded the Egypt defence but fell wide off the chest of substitute Eric Addo.
The win means Egypt kept up their run of unbeaten games at the Nations Cup, extending it to 19.
Captain Ahmed Hassan, named man of the match, became the first player to win four Nations Cup medals. – Reuters