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Video Report: Round-Up of Egypt’s Friendlies – Shaken but not Stirred
The Egyptian National team returned to action as they played three friendly games in the space of two weeks in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers in March.
With the Egyptian league in hiatus, American manager Bob Bradley has a stupendous challenge of guiding the Egyptian National team to the World Cup in Brazil, with most of the players lacking the necessary match fitness.
Games were played across the Middle East, kicking off with a friendly versus Qatar in Doha, moving onto the latest games against Ivory Coast and Ghana in the United Arab Emirates.
Although Egypt managed a positive result in its first game versus Qatar, they suffered heavy defeats against 2013 Africa Cup of Nations favorites Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in Abu Dhabi. Egypt take home aplenty positive experiences in spite of the heavy defeats, especially in the match against Côte d’Ivoire. The Pharaohs will be shaken but certainly not stirred.
Egypt 2-0 Qatar
The Egyptians kicked off the friendlies with an impressive 2-0 victory with goals courtesy of Al-Ahly strikers El-Sayed Hamdy and Mohamed Nagy ‘Geddo’.
Egypt 0-3 Ghana
Egypt, who were without the majority of Al-Ahly stars and our Pharaohs Abroad, lacked creativity, while producing a host of defensive blunders against Ghana. The Pharaohs succumbed to a heavy three-nil defeat, with goals coming from Emmanuel Badu, Emmanuel Boakye and Asamoah Gyan.
Egypt 2-4 Côte d’Ivoire
The Pharaohs finished off their friendly games with a strong encounter versus Côte d’Ivoire in Abu Dhabi. Eight Al-Ahly players – majority of which were not available against Ghana – started the match against The Elephants at the expense of a handful of Zamalek players. They soon became nine after striker Marwan Mohsen was replaced in the 25th minute by Ahly’s El-Sayed Hamdy.
Mohamed Abou-Treika opened the scoring following an immense cross from left-back Ahmed Shedid Qinawi, only for Gervinho to equalize from the spot following a harsh penalty call against Ahmed Fathi. Minutes later, Lacina Traoré beat young centre-back Ramy Rabia’s offside trap to gift the Elephants an undeserved lead going into half-time.
The defensive errors continued in the second half as the head-shaved Fathi gifted Arsenal’s Gervinho his brace after failing to clear the ball inside the box. As the match began to look out of reach, Geddo pulled one back for the Pharaohs, scoring from another Ahmed Shedid cross. Didier Ya Konan sealed the victory for Côte d’Ivoire after scoring the fourth to keep their 2-year unbeaten streak intact.
King Fut’s Talking Points:
- Geddo’s rediscovery of form: he now has 17 goals in 31 appearances for the Pharaohs.
- Omar Gaber grasps his chances and looks a top player in the making; proves he’s versatile, too.
- Centre-backs fail to fill gap left by the injured Ahmed Hegazy.
- Ahmed Shedid gives Bradley food-for-thought after an immense showing at left-back against Côte d’Ivoire.
- Abou-Treika continues to prove he’s currently irreplaceable.