International

Egypt salutes team 'dignity' after agonising loss

2017-02-06 16:46
Egypt players celebrate.

Cairo - The Egyptian president and newspapers applauded the "dignity" of the national football team on Monday, calling them champions despite agonisingly losing the Africa Cup of Nations final 2-1 to Cameroon.

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny gave Egypt the lead midway through the first half on Sunday and they looked to be on course to win an unrivalled eighth Cup of Nations crown in their first appearance at the tournament since 2010.

But Cameroon hit back and Vincent Aboubakar came off the bench to score a stunning winner with two minutes left to break Egyptian hearts.

"We have lost with dignity" read the headline of the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper.

"The Pharaohs have lost 2-1 in the finals after a dignified performance," said the state-owned Al-Akhbar newspaper.

The private Al-Watan newspaper chimed: "The cup was lost but we won the national team."

"You have honoured us, champions... We'll meet at the World Cup," the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper added.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed his "great appreciation" to the players on their "dignified performance" in Gabon.

"Despite the result of the game the national team has won the appreciation of the entire Egyptian people and the respect of all football fans around the world," Sisi said in a statement.

Thousands of fanatical Egyptians gathered in front of massive screens in the 6 October suburb in western Cairo, as they did all over the country, blowing Vuvuzelas and waving Egyptian flags.

The Vuvuzela horns fell silent at the final whistle.

"I'm in shock," said 30-year-old engineer Ayman Abou el-Nour, who was watching the game with his wife and two children.

"We needed something to bring us happiness. Our problem now is that we don't have anything to make us happy."

Egyptians, grappling with skyrocketing prices and political turmoil, hope next year's World Cup will offer some more respite.

"We have lost the cup but we still have a chance to reach the World Cup. That is the big dream," said 20-year-old student Ahmed Alaa.

Read more on:    egypt  |  afcon 2017  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.