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Soccer News of Friday, 8 February 2008

Source: GNA

The injury of goalkeeper affected my team - Coach Gili

Kumasi, Feb.8, GNA - The National Coach of the Elephants of La Cote D'Ivoire, Coach Gerard Gili has said that the injury of his goalkeeper, Barry Boubacar in the 38th minute in their match against Egypt affected the team but conceded that was not the main cause of the outcome.

He said he did not expect the Egyptians to play like that in the match they lost 4-1 to the Pharaohs in the semi-final match of the 26th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Ghana 2008 played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Thursday.

Mr Gili said his players did well but that it was only luck that was not on their side, adding that football was like that " either you win, lose or draw. It was not our day, the Egyptians have done well". I congratulate them especially their goalkeeper, Esam Tawfik El Hadary, who won the MTN best player of the match.

Hassan Shetta of the Pharaohs attributed the team's victory to the total support and commitment from the entire players and the Egyptian population.

He said the players, officials and he himself were all happy about the victory of the team in the tournament that had led them to the final stage, adding that he wanted a good game and that was what happened.

In a related development, members of the Egyptian supporters union on Thursday night went into wild jubilation soon after the Pharaohs had trounced the Elephants.

Clad in the red, white and black colours of the national team, the supporters amidst the playing of brass band music trooped onto the principal streets of Kumasi celebrating in grand style. The Pharaohs, who ironically had few supporters at the Stadium, played a determined game to upstage their Ivorian counterparts in a match that was fiercely contested.

"I am very happy at the way our team played above themselves tonight and hope they will continue with this trend to win the cup for us for the sixth time," Mr Hussein Hussein, one of the officials of the Egyptian supporters union told the GNA Sports.