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Holders Egypt maintain winning run ahead of Nations Cup

10 January 2008 21:53

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) - African Nations Cup title holders Egypt maintained good pre-tournament form with a 1-0 win over fellow contenders Mali Thursday.

Midfielder Hosni Abd Rabou converted a 41st-minute penalty after a foul on striker Amr Zaki, scorer of two goals last Saturday when Egypt beat Namibia 3-0 in the first of three warm-up games for the tournament in Ghana this month.

Egypt complete their programme Sunday in the Portuguese capital Lisbon against Angola as they prepare to tackle four-time champions Cameroon, unpredictable Zambia and dark horses Sudan from January 22 in Group C.

Mali, who came closest to levelling when star striker Frederic Kanoute hit the post and had a player sent off for a foul on Mohamed Shawky with 10 minutes left, face Benin, Ivory Coast and Nigeria in the 'Group of Death'.

The Malian 'Eagles' have never finished lower than fourth in four Nations Cup appearances spanning 32 years and remain in Abu Dhabi for a friendly against Iran Sunday.

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