Cuper relieved as Egypt reach AFCON final

2 February 2017 02:16

Head coach Hector Cuper felt Burkina Faso were the better team after Egypt prevailed on penalties to advance to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

After Wednesday’s semi-final finished 1-1 at the end of extra time, veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary was the hero as seven-time champions Egypt triumphed 4-3 on spot-kicks.

El-Hadary, 44, denied Kouakou Herve Koffi and Bertrand Traore to see the Egyptians through the decider, despite being second best for much of the clash.

“From the beginning of the game we knew it was not going to be easy because Burkina Faso are a very fast team. They were better than us,” Cuper said.

“There was a lot of fatigue. Our wish was to come to penalties because everything can happen. 

“We are very happy to be in the final. For now, we will try to recover and find out who will be our opponent to adopt our strategy according to their identity. 

“I am hopeful that this 13th final will bring us luck, even if I am not really lucky in the final. It’s already a very special finale for me. Our goal will be to win. I hope we will have the opportunity to celebrate [victory] with the whole country. “

Opposite number Paulo Duarte was aggrieved post-match, hitting out at officials in Libreville.

“Everyone saw in the first half: one against one, my attacker was in the area and the defender cut the ball with his hand,” Duarte lamented.

“Someone did not let us win the game.”

Egypt will face either Cameroon or Ghana in the decider on Sunday.

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