CAN ’10: gearing up for the final…
Alright Bandeiristas, it’s the Copa Final tomorrow! EGYPT vs GHANA, Estadio 11 de Novembro, 5:00 PM Luanda time!
Egypt are the surprise favorites to come away with the cup, which would be their third in a row, and their seventh overall. Bookies have the Pharaohs at evens to win it, while the Black Stars can be got for 10/3 or so. The Ghanaians could be worth a punt, but considering Egypt’s form in the last few games, their 100% record in the competition so far, and the fact that they’ve scored 14 goals compared to Ghana’s humble 4, I’d say forget it.
Hassan Shehata’s somewhat outlandish 3-5-2 formation (*viz Paul Wilson here) has proved spectacularly successful so far, leaving many African football commentators lamenting the fact the Egypt, as the most convincing looking side in this competition, will be missing out on the World Cup this summer, which really, simply, should be won by an African team.
Egypt’s attack force has been prolific. Young Gedo has proved a hit at the Copa, sitting pretty at the top of the goals table w/ four, 35-year-old winger Hassan has had an evergreen outing in Angola, scoring three and generally looking dangerous and industrious, while Zidan has been been unsurprisingly impressive, scoring a beauty against Algeria. I expect most of the 90 minutes to resemble the crashing of wave after Egyptian wave against a sturdy Ghanaian fortress. Biblical stuff, to be sure! LADUMA!
Not that I wouldn’t love to see this young Ghana team win, however. And actually, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they do win tomorrow— but it will take a seriously impressive defensive performance. Without their, ahem, TALISMANIC midfielder Michael Essien, Ghana’s U-20 championship-winning youth forces have had to step up and assert their defensive muscle. They’ve done a convincing job of it so far, keeping clean sheets in 3 of the 4 games they’ve played. If they maintain their solidity and organization, and if Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew remain industrious on the break, there’s no reason the Black Stars couldn’t grip the cup in Luanda tomorrow.
Anyways, I or Steve will be here with some sort of live commentary, so check back then.
BUT, post-Copa we’ll continue à bring vous cette hard-hitting Afrocentrique TOLI-TOLI (pardon my Camfranglais). So keeeeep it locked on the RSS or whathaveyou . . .