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Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt win tight matches to advance to African Cup final.
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Tuesday, February 7, 2006) -- Striker Didier Drogba, who converted the decisive penalty kick in a quarterfinal tiebreaker, scored the game's only goal early in the second half to send Cote d'Ivoire past Nigeria 1-0 in the semifinals of the African Cup of Nations before approximately 74,000 at Haras el Hedood today.
Egypt, which downed Cote d'Ivoire 3-1 in group play, also advanced to the Friday title match. Egypt defeated Senegal 2-1 on Amr Zaki's late tally in the other semifinal before 74,000 at Cairo International Stadium.
Cote d'Ivoire's only African Cup crown came in 1992. Egypt has won the title four times, the previous championships coming in 1957, 1959, 1986 and 1998.
Drogba, who plays for Chelsea in England, nearly scored in the eighth minute, but his free kick was saved by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. In the 47th minute. Didier Zokora sent a pass over the Nigerian defense for Drigba, who nailed his shot under Enyeama from close range for his third goal of the tournament and a 1-0 advantage.
It was Drogba's second penalty kick of a tiebreaker that gave Cote d'Ivoire a 13-12 decision over Cameroon in the extra session following a 1-1 draw Saturday.
In Cairo, Zaki came off the bench in the 77th minute and, four minutes later, headed home the winner with his first touch to lift Egypt to the triumph.
Mido, who was replaced by Zaki, was displeased to be relieved and had to be restrained by teammates as he shouted at coach Hassan Shehata.
Egypt went ahead 1-0 in the 34th minute on Ahmed Hassan's penalty kick. Mamadou Niang headed home an equalizer for the Teranga Lions six minutes later.
Beckham sees contract extension with Real Madrid
MADRID -- England captain David Beckham told the Spanish sports daily Marca he is "99 percent" sure he will sign a contract extension with Real Madrid.
"We'll start to talk about it before the summer," he said. "There is a 99 percent chance I will sign an extension here. I am in no doubt that I want to stay. What we have agreed is that we are in the middle of the season with very important club commitments that come first. They know I want to continue and I know they want me to stay."
Beckham, 30, signed a four-year contract with Real in 2003 after leaving Manchester United for a $41.9 million transfer fee.
"I am at one of the greatest clubs in the world. Why would I want to leave anyway?" he asked Marca.
Real is tied for third place in Spain's Primera Division with Osasuna at 13-6-3 with 42 points, trailing Barcelona (16-2-4, 52 points) and Valencia (12-3-7). Real faces Arsenal of England February 21 in the European Champions League Round of 16.
Seeking its first title since Beckham arrives, Real also is in the King's Cup semifinals.
Turkey heavily punished for brawl
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- The Turkish Football Federation plans to appeal disciplinary action by world governing body FIFA that requires the nation to play its next six official matches behind closed doors and at neutral venues in different European countries.
FIFA meted out the punishment after a brawl between players and officials broke out on the field and in the tunnel to the lockerrooms following Turkey's elimination from qualification for the World Cup November 16 against Switzerland.
The TFF was also fined $155,639, plus administrative costs
Turkey won that home game 4-2 for a 4-4 aggregate score in the qualifying playoff series with Swiztzerland advancing to the World Cup on the strength of having a 2-0 advantage in goals scored in the road. Switzerland won its home leg 2-0 four days earlier.
Players Alpay Ozalan and Emre Belozoglu were suspended for Turkey's next six international games and fined $11,971. Teammate Serkan Balci was suspended for two internationals and fined $3,591.
Player Benjamin Huggel was suspended for Switzerland's next six international games and fined $11,971. The Swiss team physiotherapist Stephan Meyer was banned for two games and fined $4,789.
Only Balci and Meyer don't have the right to appeal per FIFA regulations.
Top English female soccer executive has brain surgery
BIRMINGHAM, England -- England's "first lady of football" underwent surgery to repair a brain aneurysm today.
Birmingham managing director Karren Brady, the highest ranking female executive in English soccer, was recovering well, club chairman David Gold told Associated Press, after the aneurysm was discovered on January 26.
"She's gone through the operation that's been a success," Gold told AP. "After the operation you're expected to convalesce in the hospital for about 10 days, but knowing Karren she'll be out in five and that's the nature of the lady."
Brady, 36, is married to Canadian international Paul Peschisolido, a striker for Derby County of the second-tier English League Championship. The couple has two children.
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