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VIDEO: Egypt denied by late goal in Oman
Starting XI: Essam El Hadary; Ahmed Elmohamady, Wael Gomaa, Mahmoud Alaa, Ahmed Samir Farag; Hosni Abd Rabo, Hossam Ashour, Mohamed El Nenny; Ahmed Temsah, Ahmed Hassan Mekki, Marwan Mohsen.
Bob Bradley was forced to feature a second-string squad to play this low-profile friendly in Oman. Besides Wael Gomaa and Hossam Ashour, who are suspended for Al Ahly’s Champions League clash against Berekum Chelsea this weekend, no other players from Ahly or Zamalek were in the squad. Bradley had initially called up Zamalek youngsters Ahmed El Shennawy, Omar Gaber and Mohamed Ibrahim but Zamalek refused as they still have hope to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals under their new coach Jorvan Viera, despite not winning a single point after 3 group stage fixtures.
The Pharaohs dominated possession in the first half, but struggled to create any clear-cut chances. Just before the end of the first half, Oman were awarded a penalty after Olympian defender Mahmoud Alaa tackled Oman’s striker from behind in the box. Luckily, legendary keeper Essam El Hadary rolled back the years with a tremendous save against Walid Saady from the spot, ensuring the first half ended goalless.
On the hour mark, Harras Hodoud hitman Ahmed Hassan Mekki finally broke the deadlock. Egypt’s two centre-forwards combined well as U-23 top scorer Marwan Mohsen headed the ball straight into the path of Mekki, who finished with a point-blank header following a Hosni Abd Rabo corner. Egypt were evidently loosing concentration in the final 10 mins after introducing two more Olympians, Hossam Hassan, and senior debutante, Ahmed Magdy. In the 90th minute, striker Abdulaziz Al-Muqbali snatched the equalizer for the home side with a left-footed drive following poor defending off a corner – a major area of concern for all Egyptian national teams.