Thursday, 28th of January was a day of great tension and anticipation for the football (soccer) fans. Fans of the Egyptian national team dressed in the flags colors, painted their faces with black, white and red face paint like soldiers going in to battle. televisions sets and Plasma screens were turned on to a sports channel that would be airing the match live from Angola.

At 9:30pm most of Cairo had become a ghost town. Very few people were out and about at that time. While a great majority of the population of the City and the country were huddle in doors our at a cafe waiting for the match to begin.

The game had both Algerians and Egyptians on edge in the first half of the game. For the first twenty minutes it was like watching two Alpha males battling. Egypt fighting to redeem their pride and keep their title and Algeria fighting to prove that they had won the right to go to the World Cup fare and square. For the first 20 minutes of the game the defense of both teams was high and then Egypt earned a penalty kick! The goal earned during the penalty kick put them in the lead! The cheers could be heard echoing the city.

In the second half my family and I anticipated that the Algerians were going to come back and play with a vengeance and boy did they ever!!! They were so determined to keep in the game and score against their Egyptian opponents that many fouls were made by three Algerian players, but that didn’t deter their aggressive tactics and plays which earned them 3 red cards, sending 3 players off the field. One of which was the Algerian goalie who almost head butted the Ref (not a wise move, just ask Zein El Din Zedan, he head butted a player in the Final match between Italy and France in the last world cup and the world hasn’t forgotten it).

With only 8 players left on the Algerian team, there was no stopping Egypt! They scored 3 more goals before the match came to an end.

My father who has never been a fan of the sport was leaping out of his chair jumping up and down and cheering!

The streets of Cairo were chocka blocked with fans cruising around in cars beeping and waving the Egyptian flag, fans in the street drumming, chanting and setting of fire works causing traffic jams and a hell of a lot of noise! All with good reason too. After Algeria defeated the Ivory Coast in their last game, Egyptians were skeptical whether or not their national team would be able to beat the Algerian team. Low and behold, they did! 4-0

Both teams played like Spartans, they should both be very proud of themselves.

The next game Egypt will be playing is against Ghana.