Soccer: Egypt and Ghana advance to African Cup final
Associated Press Writer
BENGUELA, Angola — Two-time defending champion Egypt and Ghana advanced to Sunday's final of the African Cup of Nations.
In a rematch of November's tense tiebreaker playoff for a World Cup berth, Egypt routed Algeria 4-0 Thursday night on goals by Hosni Abd Rabou, Mohamed Zidan, Mohamed Abdel Shafy and Mohamed Gedo. The Pharaohs, a six-time champion, extended their unbeaten streak in the tournament to 18 games.
Algeria, which plays the United States in the first round of the World Cup, finished three men short. Rafik Halliche was ejected in the 38th minute, Nadir Belhadj in the 70th and goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi in the 88th for getting his second yellow card.
Rival fans were separated by a wall of police wearing riot helmets and wielding batons.
In November, three Algerian players were injured after their team bus came under attack from stone-throwing Egyptian supporters ahead of a World Cup qualifier in Cairo. Egypt won 2-0 to force a playoff in Khartoum, Sudan, but the Desert Foxes won the tiebreaker game 1-0 to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Rabou converted a penalty kick in the 39th minute after referee Codjia Koffi of Benin ejected Halliche for a late challenge on Emad Meteeb. Zidan doubled the lead in the 65th with a left-footed shot from 15 yards, Abdel Shafy scored in the 81st from a tight angle and Gedo added the final goal in injury time.
Belhadj was ejected for fouling Ahmed El Mohamady. Chaouchi had gotten his first yellow card in the 41st.
At Luanda, Ghana advanced to the final for the first time in 18 years, defeating Nigeria 1-0 on Asamoah Gyan's goal in the 21st minute.