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REVIEW: Young Pharaohs top Group A of the U-20 AFCON downing Ghana’s Black Satellites
Match: Ghana (76′ Assifuah) 1-2 Egypt (67′ Hamad, 87′ (PK) Gomaa)
Competition: CAF U20 African Championship – Group A
Venue: Omar Oucief Stadium, Algeria
Referee: Hudu Munyemana (Rwanda)
Ghana: Eric Antwi, Richmond Nketiah, Lawrence Lartey, Mensah, Ofori, Sarfo-Gyamfi, Aboagye, Salifu, Asiedu-Apau, Assifuah, Narh
Egypt’s Young Pharaohs kicked off their campaign with a victory over arch rivals Ghana in the opening game of Group A, after an impressive, assured and exciting performance from the two teams. Goals from substitute Mahmoud Hamad and Saleh Gomaa edged Ghana’s only goal from Assifuah to give Egypt three crucial points in a group touted ‘The Group of Death’.
Egypt’s manager Rabie Yassin started the game with a 3-5-2 formation with Rio Ave’s towering striker Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ leading the lines. Al-Ahly’s hottest talent Rami Rabia partnered Yasser Ibrahim at CB while Saleh Gomaa, Ahmed Refaat and Trezeguet filled up the midfield. The Egyptians played a very tight game, passing the ball around and played a solid game all around. A couple of the players pulled MOTM performances as goalkeeper Mossad Awad pulled a couple of crucial saves. Ahmed Refaat and Ahmed Samir were impressive on the flanks while Saleh Gomaa pulled the strings neatly. Egypt’s newly called up Pharaoh Abroad Alexander ‘Amir Adel’ Jakobsen was left on the bench and didn’t feature.
The first goal came from Hamad’s first touch in the 67th minute after coming on, after he rose high and headed the ball in past Ghana’s goalkeeper Antwi after a great delivery from Ahmed Samir’s freekick. Ghana equalized in the 76th minute after a goal-mouth scrap, with Ghana’s youngest player Assifuah being on hand to put the ball past the impressive Awad at the tender age of 14. The Egyptians got their lucky break in the 87th minute when goalkeeper Antwi trampled Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ awarding the Pharaohs a penalty. Saleh Gomaa coolly finished it off to send the Egyptians top of the group.
Highlights and Goals:
Egypt is set to face Algeria on the 19th of March while Ghana takes on Benin.