XT Post Number King
Teams: INTER & Tottenham Hotspur
2 Final - Cairo International Stadium
Egypt 2 - 1 Senegal
Ahmed Hassan (pen 37)
Amr Zaki (81)
Mamadou Niang (51)
Preview Match Report
Updated: Feb. 7, 2006, 2:09 PM ET
Egypt 2-1 Senegal: Zaki sends hosts into finalPA
Hosts Egypt reached the African Nations Cup final following a 2-1 win but Senegal will have every reason to feel robbed after being denied a certain penalty in the dying minutes.
Ahmed Hassan (r) fires Egypt in front from the spot
The drama in Cairo appeared to have peaked when Amr Zaki scored Egypt's second with 10 minutes left after coming on to replace Mido, with the Tottenham striker reacting furiously to being taken off by coach Hassan Shehata.
Mido was forced to put his indignation to one side as Zaki proved his coach right by heading in a cross by Mohamed Aboutraika, but Senegal should have been awarded a penalty in the last minute of normal time when Diomansy Kamara was tripped in the area by Ibrahim Said.
Cameroon referee Divine Evehe opted not to risk the wrath of the huge Cairo crowd and gave nothing, not even booking Kamara for diving, as the Pharaohs set up a clash with Ivory Coast on Friday.
The hosts were the first to go close in the ninth minute when Wael Gomaa headed over the top from six yards after an effective short corner routine.
Newcastle midfielder Amady Faye incurred the wrath of Gomaa eight minutes later for going in high on Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary as he strode unchallenged into the penalty area, though there was mercifully little, if any, contact.
However, it indicated a weakness at the heart of Egypt's defence which was almost exposed again by another run from deep from Frederic Mendy five minutes later.
Faye went close with a low free-kick which whistled past El Hadary's left-hand post, while Egypt were causing Senegal problems with the long ball aimed up to Mido. Emad Moteab claimed a penalty after he felt he was impeded in his bid to latch on to one such flick-on by the Spurs target man.
The first goal went Egypt's way as Mido floated a cross in from the left and Mendy inexplicably handled with Mohamed Barakat lurking just behind him. Skipper Ahmed Hassan's second successful spot-kick stood in the 37th minute after the first was disallowed for encroachment.
The second half began brightly as Aboutraika hit the crossbar with a looping right-foot shot, but Senegal grabbed the goal their efforts deserved after 50 minutes.
Captain Lamine Diatta whipped in a cross from deep on the right and Marseille striker Mamadou Niang escaped his marker to place a header past El Hadary from close range.
Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop headed over from a tough angle as the hour mark approached while Mohammed Abdelwahab flashed an angled low drive just wide as Senegal reacted slowly to a quickly-taken free-kick.
The match was turning Egypt's way again as Aboutraika released Moteab with a beautifully-weighted pass, but the latter's cross was just too high for Mido to make meaningful contact.
Abdelwahab then had to clear off the goalline after El Hadary misjudged the flight of a corner kick as Senegal opted to replace Camara with El-Hadji Diouf, who was not deemed fit enough to start.
At this stage Senegal looked favourites to win it but Shehata's inspired substitution - and some cowardly refereeing - ultimately proved decisive.
My heart = INTER...No Matter Win or Lose...
Zanetti : I still remember my first day at Inter. I arrived with a plastic bag with my boots inside and I crossed the crowd of fans who were asking who I was. That's where it all started.....