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GOALLLLL – Top 10 Egypt goals of the last decade
With World Cup qualifiers upcoming, I’ve put together a list of my top ten Egypt goals of the last decade. These strikes all occurred in crucial games for the national team, with some of them going down as some of the greatest goals not just in Egyptian footballing folklore, but world football as a whole.
From Hossam Ghaly’s screamer of a goal against Saudi Arabia in the 2006 Pan Arab games to the almost unknown (at the time) Gedo scoring a historic goal in the final of the 2010 African Cup of Nations, these are moments that will not be forgotten soon.
10 – Hossam Ghaly vs. Saudi Arabia
To start off the list, the scenario here was not a crucial one, but with the Pan Arab tournament being held on home turf, a performance was always demanded from the Egyptian national team. With many stars on show for the Pharaohs, this Hossam Ghaly belter was the pick of the bunch in a tournament where Egypt scored goals a plenty. Picking the ball up some 30-yards from goal, Ghaly unleashed a cannonball of a drive which was destined for the top corner of the net as soon as the ball had left his foot. Absolutely unstoppable.
9 – Hosni Abd-Rabo vs Cameroon
After the success on home turf at the 2008 African Cup of Nations, Egypt went into the tournament as massive underdogs. With teams featuring in the tournament including the likes of Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o and many others, the press had almost written off Egypt’s chances of retaining the trophy. Egypt’s first game of the group campaign was played against Cameroon, one of the pre-tournament favourite. However, within the first 20 minutes, Egypt had sent a silencing shot towards all the doubters, up 2-0 after a clinical penalty from the always reliable Hosni Abd-Rabo and a brilliant counter attacking move finished off by Mohamed Zidan. Heading into injury time at the end of the first half, an Essam El-Hadary long ball was headed clear into the path of Mohamed Zidan, who chested down and belted the ball with his left foot into the top right corner of the net, leaving the Cameroonian keeper Kameni for dead. Egypt ran out eventual 4-2 winners, with Abd-Rabo sealing the deal with a sweet drive from outside the box to get the Pharaohs off to a flier!
The fifth goal in this video
8 – Ahmed Hassan vs Cameroon
Number 8, and two years later in the African Cup of Nations, Egypt were again pitted against the Cameroonians in a crunch quarter final match. This match was special for Ahmed Hassan, who was playing his 170th international for the Pharaohs. The match started in disastrous fashion, when Hassan was beaten on the near post from a corner to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. From then on, it was all Egypt, and Hassan in his milestone game. Hassan was determined to make amends for his earlier error, and in the 37 minute picked up the ball in the midfield. From 35 yards, he released a stunner of a strike, and with the ball dipping and swerving into the bottom corner of the net, Hassan had done it. The celebration was almost as emphatic as the goal with the Egyptian running to the opposite end of the ground to celebrate with his team mates and hoist a shirt with “170” on the back. Egypt ran out 3-1 winners in controversial circumstances, with Hassan’s free-kick in extra time given a goal despite the fact it hadn’t crossed the line, to set up an encounter with eternal rivals Algeria in the semi final. This game however, belonged to the evergreen Egyptian, and his goal/s were key in the win.
7 – Abou-Treika vs Sudan
Again at the 2008 African cup of Nations, in another group match, another goal which makes my top 10 list was scored. The importance of the game was not high, and the goal may not be the best goal he has ever scored, but it was the significance of Mohamed Abou-Treika’s celebration against Sudan that makes it to this list. Egypt went into the match as massive favourites, and never looked like losing with a first half goal from Abd-Rabo and a brace from the talismanic About-Treika, but it’s the first of his goals in this game that will be remembered. After latching on to a through ball in the 77th minute, Amr Zaki squared the ball to Abou-Treika who feinted a defender and placed the ball in the bottom left hand corner. The goal may have been simple, but the celebration was quite complex, or at least the situation it put Abou-Treika in afterwards. Upon scoring, Abou-Treika lifted his top to deliver a message, with his undershirt reading “Sympathize with Gaza”, a few weeks after Arab-Israeli tensions had increased. It may have got him in trouble, but made Abou-Treika an almost instant hero (or more of a hero for that matter) with the people of the Arab nations and anyone pro-Palestine.
6 – Ahmed Hassan vs Rwanda
Coming in at number 6 is a goal of great significance. In an absolute must win match, the Pharaohs travelled to Rwanda knowing that anything but a win would severely decrease their chances of making the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In a hard match, the Egyptians battled heat as well as Rwandan defensive tactics to grind out a 1-0 victory. The goal came in the 68th minute, and again from the always brilliant Ahmed Hassan. After picking up the ball on the wing, Ahmed Fathi laid the ball back to Hosni Abd Rabo, who cracked a drive first time through the packed Rwandan defence. Ahmed Hassan, with reactions of lightning speed, then stuck a foot out and steered the shot into the net, sending the Egyptian team and coaching staff into ecstasy. A goal which kept the dreams of 80 million fans alive, a goal from an absolute legend.
5 – Mohamed Shawky vs Brazil
At number 5, a goal which Brazil would have been the more likely to score themselves. The 2009 Confederations Cup was a tournament in which Egypt had mixed success. In their group opener against Brazil, Egypt were almost given no chance. 3-1 down at half time after some defensive errors, Egypt looked like they were down and out. In a group also featuring Italy and the USA, it looked as if Egypt would be out of the tournament, even though it was only their first match. The second half looked dim, but then something incredible happened. Egypt, playing as though they were Brazil themselves started a passing move deep into their own half, which involved a move of amazing teamwork. With Ahmed Eid picking the ball up in the midfield, he played the ball out to Abou-Treika. After a neat exchange down the left wing, About-Treika deceived the Brazilian rearguard and slipped a ball to Sayed Moawad on the wing. Moawad calmly played the ball to Shawky waiting in the middle, who blasted the ball past Cesar, who didn’t even have a chance to dive for it before it was in the back of the net. A minute later, Egypt were level, as Zidan powered home an Abou-Treika through ball. Despite a last minute winner from Kaka, Egypt had shown they were no pushover, almost beating the Selecao at their own game in the process.
4 – Amr Zaki vs Senegal
Number 4, and a personal favourite of mine. To set this scenario, I’ll explain from my point of view. Having moved around quite a bit as a kid, I was extremely excited for my trip to Egypt to see family. The 17 hour flight from Australia was draining, but upon arrival my cousin told me he had a surprise for me. Sitting in the car, I thought I was on my way home to downtown Cairo, when my cousin handed me an envelope. I looked inside and found tickets. “What’s this for?” I asked. My cousin replied, “We’re going to watch Egypt vs Senegal.” I went nuts. After all the years of waking up and watching the National Team from a different time zone, I’d actually get to see them in the flesh! The atmosphere at the stadium was incredible, such a big occasion demanded the biggest crowd. Sitting behind the goals, Ahmed Hassan put the Pharaohs in the lead from a re-taken penalty, but then Senegal equalised. Then the drama came. Mido was called off to be replaced by Amr Zaki with not long left to go. The striker protested and argued with the coach on the sidelines, an incident which saw his expulsion from the squad, and boos rang around the stadium. A few minutes later, Abou-Treika received the ball down the left wing. Hitting a cross in from a bobbling ball, Amr Zaki rose high above the Senegalese defence and rocketed a header into the top corner. The stadium went absolutely crazy, and after holding out for the last few minutes, Egypt were in the final. The rest is history.
The third goal in this video
3 – Gedo vs Ghana
The 2010 African Cup of Nations Final pitted Egypt against Ghana. Egypt, fresh from their 4-0 belting of Algeria in the semi final had a point to prove. A win would secure their status as the only team ever to win 3 consecutive African titles. In a timid match chances were few and far between. Egypt had looked a tad shaky, with Essam El-Hadari pulling off a few saves to keep the Ghanaians at bay. The last 10 minutes of the match looked as though both teams were holding out for extra time, but Mohamed Nagy “Gedo” had other ideas. After receiving the ball on the left wing in the 85th minute, Gedo powered forward and played a ball into the feet of Mohamed Zidan. As Gedo continued down the wing and into the box, Zidan played a first time ball through the legs of a Ghanaian defender, reaching Gedo who opened up his body and curled a sumptuous strike into the far corner of the net. Egypt had done it, they had won. Their third in a row, a feat which is not likely to be bested anytime soon.
2 – Mohamed Hommos vs Italy
At 2, quite possibly Egypt’s most famous victory of all time. After the disappointment of the loss to Brazil in their Confederations Cup opener, Egypt looked to bounce back. The only problem is that they were facing Italy, the reigning world champions. Egypt had carved out a few chances in the first half, and looked dangerous on occasions. Following a saved shot from Abd-Rabou in the 37th minute, Egypt had a corner. Abou-Trika swung the ball in, and Mohamed Hommos rose high above the Italian defence to direct a bullet of a header past Buffon and into the bottom left corner of the net, sending the whole team, and most likely the whole country into celebration. A man of the match performance ensued in the second half from El-Hadari, with Egypt holding on for the 1-0 win and giving them a chance to make it into the second stage depending on the result of their final match against the USA, who at the time was managed by now head coach Bob Bradley.
1 – Emad Meteb vs Algeria
Finally, a goal which gave every Egyptian in the world a reason to celebrate. Egypt had laboured from a poor start in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers to a position where a 3-0 win over Algeria at home would guarantee them a place at the finals. A 1-0 win would mean Algeria was through, 2-0 meant a neutral play-off to decide who would go through, as both teams would be exactly the same statistically speaking. After a Amr Zaki goal within the first 10 minutes of the game, the fire had been lit of an incredible match. The Algerians had a few chances as the game wore on, with El-Hadary making some fine saves to keep the Desert Foxes from sealing their place at the World Cup. As the game wore on Egypt’s flame became a little dimmer. As each minute passed, Egypt’s chances were slowly slipping away. Egypt needed a goal. And then it happened. In the 95th minute, (yes, that’s right, there were 8 minutes of added time), Ahmed Eid received the ball on the right hand side of the box. Sending a cross into the box, the Egyptian players leaped but all missed. The ball came out to Sayed Moawad, who whipped a ball into the box. Up rose Emad Meteb to header the ball past the Algerian keeper, force the play-off and send the country into raptures. 2-0 it finished, and although Egypt lost the eventual play-off in Sudan 1-0, this is surely one of the best goals of all time, not just for Egypt, but for world football.
The second goal in this video