Egypt were so close to a record eighth Africa Cup of Nations title.
In the final against Cameroon, Mohamed Elneny’s 22nd-minute near-post finish gave Hector Cuper’s side a one-goal half-time lead.
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The game turned on its head after the break though, Nicolas N’Koulou equalising on the hour before Vincent Aboubakar broke Egyptian hearts with an 89th-minute winner.
But despite the agonising end to the tournament, Elneny feels his country achieved plenty in Gabon - both on and off the pitch.
“I think it was a successful experience for the players, coaching staff, the new football association and for the country in general,” he told Arsenal Player. “I think we made the people in Egypt and in the Arab world happy because of our run in the competition.
“People needed something to unite them and make them cheer for and be happy about. We are happy with this achievement, but of course we would have loved to make them more happy and win the cup and bring it back to Egypt.
“We did our best and tried really hard but it wasn't meant to be. This is God's will and hopefully the future will bring us better things.
“The goal I scored was very special for me, I imagined after the game how happy over 90 million people must have been when I scored.
“It was such an amazing feeling and we would have loved to win the cup but it wasn't Allah's will and I am sure in the future we will achieve something we have wanted for a long time.
“I am not worried about the generation of players for Egypt, we left our mark and we made people believe again. The future will carry better things for us, God willing.”
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