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VIDEO: Pharaohs down Chipolopolo ahead of Ghana play-off
Egypt, who are preparing for an almost impossible task to turnaround a 6-1 scoreline suffered in Kumasi, defeated 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winner Zambia 2-0 at the Air Defense Stadium on Thursday thanks to goals from Amr Zaki and Rami Rabia ahead of the return leg of the World Cup qualifying play-off against Ghana next Tuesday.
Egypt XI (4-4-2): Ahmed El-Shennawy; Hazem Emam, Rami Rabia (Mohamed El-Nenny), Mohamed Naguib (Sherif Abdel-Fadil), Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Sayed Moawad); Hossam Ghaly, Hosni Abd-Rabo, Mohamed Abou-Treika (Ahmed Eid), Mohamed Salah (Shikabala); Gedo, Amr Zaki (Mahmoud Kahraba).
Zambia XI (4-2-3-1): Mweene; Chisenga, Chama, Sunzu, Mbola; Sinkala, Lungu; Musakanya, Katongo, Tembo; Kola
Seven changes were made from the side that started against Ghana last month and only Mohamed Naguib – who had a nightmare in Kumasi – remained from the backline; partnering 20-year-old Al Ahly team-mate Rami Rabia.
Ahmed El-Shennawy, who was forced to come off the bench in the first leg against Ghana following an injury to Sherif Ekramy, started against Zambia ahead of the inform Ahly keeper and gave Bradley food for thought with a superb display.
The Pharaohs managed to score twice in the opening 22 minutes at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo through Zaki and Rabia. Abou-Treika sent an excellent ball in towards Salah, who sped past a defender on the right before sending it in to Zaki for an easy tap-in for the bulldozer.
Rabia doubled the Pharaohs lead with a well-struck volley following another cross by Abou-Treika, which took a deflection as the Zambians failed to clear.
The goals dried up after a series of changes in the second half with both Mohamed Salah and Abou-Treika coming off at half-time.
Hull City’s Gedo played the entire 90 minutes but had a horrid game, a number of poor touches clearly proved he’s still lacking match sharpness as he has yet to make his English Premier League debut for Steve Bruce’s side after recovering from injury.
Shennawy pulled off a number of heroic saves including one to deny Felix Katongo from point-blank range.
Bob Bradley will likely lead the Egyptian national team for the last time against the Black Stars in Cairo, unless the Pharaohs can pull off a miracle at the Air Defense Stadium.