Handball: Egypt win African Nations Cup, qualify for Olympic Games

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 Jan 2016

Handball: Egypt vs. Tunisia (Photo: the tournament official website)

Hosts Egypt secured a hard-fought 21-19 win over North African rivals Tunisia on Saturday to win the African Nations Cup and qualify for the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Pharaohs sent the home fans into raptures at a packed Cairo venue after claiming their sixth continental title and their first since 2008, overcoming record winners Tunisia with an impressive display.

Egypt were inspired by the heroics of Zamalek's Ahmed El-Ahmar, who is widely regarded as one of the country's best-ever players.

Tunisia led 10-9 at halftime after a nail-biting period but El-Ahmar made the difference in the second half as Egypt took control in the latter stages.

Goalkeeper Mahmoud 'Felfel' was also instrumental in blocking many Tunisian attempts, drawing loud cheers from the enthusiastic crowd.

Egypt also lifted the trophy in 1991, 92, 2000, 2004, and 2008.

They won all five games in the group stage to lead Group A with 10 points. Egypt also defeated Congo in the quarterfinals before beating Angola in the semis.

Egypt will represent Africa in the Olympic Games and will also feature in next year's World Championship in France. 

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