They have defended with discipline and in goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa Cameroon have one of the players of the tournament.
The two losing semifinalists, Burkina Faso and Ghana, will play Saturday in a third place match while Egypt and Cameroon will play Sunday to determine the 2017 Champion of Africa.
El Hadary saved the last two kicks from Burkina Faso after a tense semifinal in Libreville had ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra time, with a superb 66th-minute opener by Mohamed Salah for the Egyptians quickly cancelled out by Aristide Bance for Burkina Faso.
After winning an unprecedented hat-trick of Nations Cups between 2006 and 2010, Egypt failed to qualify for the next three editions of the tournament before ousting Nigeria in qualifying to reach Gabon.
"They were better in most of the game", said Egypt coach Hector Cuper. "We were very exhausted and our wish was to go to penalties because then anything can happen".
El Hadary had also parried the penalty of his Burkinabe counterpart Herve Koffi.
Given the nature of their defeat, their team began the third place playoff on the backfoot against a Ghanaian side who had seen their hopes of a maiden continental title end with a 2-0 loss to Cameroon.
"It can happen to any of us", Burkina Faso midfielder Abdou Traore said. And we can't even fall back on the "third/fourth place games can be classics" line that often used to apply at World Cups and European Championships. Bertrand Traore blocked his initial shot and couldn't get in the way of the rebound, but fortunately for his team, the Atletico Madrid man missed the target.
In doing so, they became the first side to score against Egypt this tournament.
Moments later, Elmohamady created some space on the right flank after a daunting run, then crossed the ball into the area to Kahraba who laid the ball to Salah and the latter fired home into the top corner of the net to break the deadlock.
Cameroon started their 2017 campaign in Group A along with host Gabon, debutants Guinea Bissau and Burkina Faso.
To underline el-Hadary's influence, it was the first goal he and Egypt had conceded at the tournament.
Last night, Egypt went through to the final of the African Cup of Nations thanks to the penalty shootout heroics of El Hadary.
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