Egypt's tale of success: Seven Africa Cup of Nations triumphs

Egypt are seeking to win a record-extending eighth Nations Cup title in Gabon. Check a brief of every title the Pharaohs had won ahead of the 2017 finals

Eslam Omar , Tuesday 3 Jan 2017,
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Egypt
Egypt players celebrate after beating Ghana in the final of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

Sudan 1957

Egypt were the first team ever to win the Africa Cup of Nations. The tournament was held for the first time in Sudan in February 1957 with only three teams participating; Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan while South Africa - one of the founding members of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) - was disqualified due to its apartheid policies.

Egypt defeated the hosts 2-1 in the opener before thrashing Ethiopia 4-0 in the final to become the champions of the new tournament.

Striker Mohamed Diab El-Attar "Diba" was the star of the tournament, having scored five goals in two games: one against Sudan and four in the final.

Egypt 1959             

Two years later, Egypt hosted a one-group tournament with the same teams that participated in the previous edition: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

The Pharaohs thrashed Ethiopia 4-0 courtesy of a hat-trick from Mahmoud El-Gohary and a goal from Mimi El-Sherbini. In their final game, it was forward Essam Bahig who stole the limelight, scoring a brace against Sudan in a 2-1 victory to give Egypt a second straight title.

El-Gohary won the top scorer award with three goals.

Egypt 1986                 

After failing to win the title for almost three decades, Egypt hosted an eight-team tournament in 1986 hoping to restore their glory days.

Welshman Mike Smith had one of Egypt's finest squads at his disposal, with the roster including iconic striker and 1983 African player of the Year Mahmoud El-Khatib, Taher Abou-Zeid - nicknamed the Maradona of the Nile - Magdi Abdel-Ghani and strikers Gamal Abdel-Hamid and then rising star Hossam Hassan.

However, they had the worst possible start, slipping to a 1-0 defeat by Senegal at a packed Cairo stadium after a fine header from Thierno Youm.

The hosts bounced back to beat a resilient Ivory Coast side led by Youssouf Fofana 2-0, thanks to goals from Shawki Gharib and Gamal Abdel-Hamid, before securing a semi-final berth with a 2-0 victory over Mozambique after a brace from Abou-Zeid.

Abou-Zeid became Egypt's hero in this tournament after firing a late free kick to sink a star-studded Morocco side 1-0, overcoming the likes of Abdel-Aziz Bouderbala, Abdel-Kerim Merry "Karimu" and Badou Ezzaki. 

Playing Cameroon in the final, Egypt had to resort to penalties after failing to score against Roger Milla's team. They won 5-4 to claim their third Nations Cup title.

Burkina Faso 1998

Egypt became the unlikely winners of this edition. The underdogs tag turned out to be positive for Mahmoud El-Gohary's men, who avoided any pressure going into the tournament.

They finished second in their group after beating Mozambique 2-0 and Zambia 4-0 before losing 1-0 to leaders Morocco.

Hossam Hassan, who was struggling ahead of the tournament, scored five goals in three group-stage games - a brace against Mozambiqe and a hat-trick against Zambia.

Egypt had a stiff challenge in the quarter finals, going through with a 5-4 win on penalties after a goalless draw.

Hossam Hassan also shone in the semis, netting twice to fire Egypt to the final for the first time in 12 years.

In a memorable final, Ahmed Hassan scored with a swerving shot and Tarek Mostafa doubled the lead after a fine free-kick maneuver in the first 13 minutes to lead Egypt to a 2-0 win over defending champions South Africa.

Mahmoud El-Gohary etched his name into the Nations Cup history after becoming the first one to win the title as a player and coach.

Hossam Hassan was the tournament's undisputed star, finishing as the joint top scorer with seven goals, on level with Benni McCarthy of South Africa.

Egypt 2006

This edition marked the rise of a golden generation that would dominate Africa for years to come.

Egypt enjoyed the support of home supporters, with a packed Cairo Stadium hosting thousands of enthusiastic supporters and, maybe for the first time in the country's footballing history, many families in an unusual friendly atmosphere

Coach Hassan Shehata was the mastermind of a fifth Nations Cup triumph, defying critics who questioned his credentials. He picked a side that featured the likes of goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, defender Ahmed Fathi and playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, who is widely regarded as one of the best players in Egypt's history.

Veteran keeper El-Hadary and solid right-back Fathi are still key members of Egypt's squad ahead of the 2017 edition.

Back to 2006, Egypt crushed Libya 3-0 in the opening game, with striker Mido, Abou-Treika and central midfielder Ahmed Hassan all on target.

They were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Morocco but played better in a convincing 3-1 victory over the Ivory Coast, with Abou-Treika scoring again and striker Emad Meteb netting twice.

In the quarterfinal against DR Congo, Ahmed Hassan scored twice and Meteb netted again as Egypt cruised to a 4-1 victory in a one-sided affair. But the highlight was a superb goal scored by veteran striker Hossam Hassan, who was 39 at the time and had only played a bit-part role in the tournament.

In a hard-fought semi-final battle against Senegal, Ahmed Hassan converted a penalty to put Egypt in front but the Lions of Teranga equalized early in the second half via a header from Mamadou Niang.

The match was best known for a heated exchange of words between coach Shehata and Mido on the touchline after the striker reacted angrily to being substituted. His replacement, Amr Zaki, made an immediate impact after heading home a cross from Abou-Treika with 10 minutes remaining to spark wild celebrations.

In another tough clash against Ivory Coast in the final, Didier Drogba was unlucky not to score in the regulation time and had his spot-kick saved by Essam El-Hadary in the shootout as Egypt won 4-2 on penalties.

Ghana 2008

If some had deemed Egypt's 2006 Nations Cup triumph a fluke because it was staged on home soil, there were no doubts about the second straight win in Ghana two years later.

Egypt displayed an attractive brand of football with devastating counter attacks against some of the continent's heavyweights including Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

Midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou and Germany-based forward Mohamed Zidan were the new faces introduced by Shehata and they duly repaid his faith, with Zidan proving a thorn in opposing sides and Abd-Rabou winning the tournament's best player award.

Egypt produced a dazzling performance to beat Cameroon 4-2 in their group opener before crushing Sudan 3-0. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Zambia but it was enough to send them to the quarters.

Abd-Rabou put Egypt ahead against Angola but Mancho leveled the score with a thumping long-range shot. However, Amr Zaki restored his side's lead to help them reach the semi-final, setting up a mouthwatering clash against Ivory Coast.

The Elephants, fresh from a 5-0 rout of Guinea, were stunned by a 4-1 defeat, with Egypt proving too good with a brace from burly frontman Zaki and goals from Ahmed Fathi and Abou-Treika.

In the final, Cameroon tried to avoid a repeat of the group-stage opening defeat, closing down spaces at the back. However, they were undone by a goal from Abou-Treika with 14 minutes remaining.

Zidan robbed Cameroon's veteran defender Rigobert Song to slip the ball into the path of Abou-Treika who slotted home with aplomb, capping a memorable night for the Egyptians.

Angola 2010

Egypt had a point to prove in this edition after narrowly missing on a place at the World Cup following a 1-0 playoff defeat by North African rivals Algeria.

They finished the group stage with a 100 percent record following a 3-1 win over Nigeria, 2-0 over Mozambique and 2-0 over Benin.

The evergreen Ahmed Hassan scored twice to help Egypt to a 3-1 quarter-final victory over Cameroon, with forward Mohamed Gedo also on target.

Egypt then had a chance to exact revenge on Algeria when they met in the semi final, thrashing them 4-0 with goals from Abd-Rabou, Zidan, Gedo and left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi.

In nail-biting final against Ghana, Gedo settled the tie in Egypt's favour when he exchanged passes Zidan and fired home from inside the area with five minutes remaining to lead the team to a record-extending seventh title.

Gedo was Egypt's unlikely hero, scoring five goals off the bench to finish as the tournament's top scorer.

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