Egypt take revenge on old foes

Algeria 0 Egypt 4

Seventy days on from Algeria's acrimonious victory over Egypt in a World Cup qualifying play-off, the Pharaohs had their revenge with what was, in the end, a comfortable victory. They march on to a third straight Africa Cup of Nations final, trying to convince themselves that this makes up for the defeat in Omdurman.

Algeria, meanwhile, having finished with just eight men on the pitch, have a clear issue with self-control to address, but will – however hard it was to believe last night – be at the World Cup in June.

"Today we played against Egypt and the referee," said the Rangers and Algeria defender Madjid Bougherra. "He was rubbish. Sometimes you see this in Africa. You cannot believe it when you see this on the pitch.

"But we are going to the World Cup. That is our consolation and there we can enjoy it because they have good referees."

When the heat of battle has cooled, though, he may accept that their problems lay closer to home. Koffi Codjia, the experienced Beninois official, perhaps made a contentious call when he deemed Rafik Halliche to have tripped Emad Meteeb in the box as he sought to recover after fluffing a clearance, but thereafter he had little choice in his decisions. Having given the penalty, he was obliged to issue a yellow card; unfortunately for Halliche and Algeria, it was his second.

Hosny Abd Rabou, another who is yet to shine in Angola, converted from the spot, and as Algeria protested about his stuttered run up, there came the first sign of serious ill-discipline, as the goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi seemed to aim a head-butt at Codjia. He missed, and Codjia showed only a yellow card, but the Confederation of African Football may decide his action is worthy of a ban, which could rule him out of Algeria's World Cup group match with England.

Even before the first red card, though, Egypt were totally dominant, their passing giving them control of midfield. In the build-up, Zidan had said the game would be "like a war"; it wasn't, it was a rout. The Borussia Dortmund forward had had a subdued tournament, but yesterday he was inspired, and added the second after 65 minutes, arcing a precise shot into the top corner. As Egypt, always a neat passing team, began spinning mocking webs through midfield, Belhadj threw himself into a foul on El Mohamady and was rightly sent off. Mohamed Abdelshafi added a third with a neat finish from a narrow angle, Chaouchi became the third man sent off for a kick at Mohamed Nagui, and then Nagui bundled a fourth, but by then the game had long since been won.

Belhadj had a torrid night, highlighting just how uncomfortable Algeria's transition from the traditional North African back three to a back four – undertaken after defeat to Malawi in the opening game – remains. More usually a wing-back with his national team, the Portsmouth full-back was given little cover by Karim Ziani, nominally the left-sided midfielder, but more often to be found drifting infield, and was exposed both by Zidan and by El Mohamady, his frustration at that presumably at least partly the cause of his dismissal.

Zidan had said he could watch the World Cup "at peace" if Egypt won. His bewilderment at how Algeria managed to edge them out may prevent that, but at least he and Egypt have the satisfaction of humiliating their bitterest rivals. A hamstring injury to Meteeb may hinder them, but on Sunday, only a youthful Ghana stand between them and an unprecedented third straight Cup of Nations triumph.

Algeria (4-4-2): Chaouchi; Yahia, Bougherra, Halliche, Belhadj; Yebda, Meghni (Laifaoui, 67), Mansouri, Ziani; Matmour (Abdoun, 75), Ghezzal (Zemmamouche, 89)

Egypt (3-5-2): El Hadary; Gomaa, Hany Said, Fathalla (Nagui, 59); El Mohamady, Hassan, Fathi, Hosny, Moawad (Abdelshafi, 78); Zidan, Meteeb (Ghaly, 52).

Referee: K Codjia (Benin)

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little