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Egyptian trio start as Nacional lose in Minsk
CD Nacional lost the first leg of the UEFA Europe League qualifying play-off 2-0 against Dinamo Minsk, in a match where three Egyptians featured for the Portuguese side.
It was a big day for the Egyptians at CD Nacional as Aly Ghazal, Saleh Gomaa and new signing Mahmoud Ezzat were all starting in the club’s first leg of the Europa League qualification play-off against Dynamo Minsk in Belarus.
The game started with the home team pilling up the pressure with the clear intention of scoring the early goal. However, the Alvinegros put up a good defensive display with Mahmoud Ezzat showing some good defensive awareness as well as some good clearances around the goalkeeper’s box.
As the first half went on, Manuel Machado’s side started creating some offense that saw Saleh Gomaa distribute some accurate passes around the middle of the field and Aly Ghazal display some of his trademark defensive play in the middle of the park.
Ezzat, who joined the club on loan from Arab Contractors, along with Ali Fathy, who was left out of the squad, wasted what proved to be the best chance of the half for Nacional when the young centre-back overpowered his volley inside the Dynamo Minsk box after a dangerous corner.
The Egyptian defender, who was playing his first competitive game for his new club, was to see even more bad luck one minute before half-time when his challenge on one of the Dynamo Minsk players inside his box was judged too harsh. The resulting penalty was converted by captain Ihar Stasevic to put his team ahead just before half time.
The Belarusian side started the second half with the strong conviction of securing a second goal which they effectively did at the 55th minutes when Nikolic scored the goal that proved to seal the issue of the match as Nacional weren’t able to fight back into the game.
The Egyptian trio played the whole game and all showed promise, with Ezzat playing a good game despite his foul resulting in the first goal of the game.
It is important to note that this game was the first leg of the play-off round of qualification for the Europa league. The winning team (on goal aggregate) will be qualified for the group stages of the competition.
The Madeira side will hope to overcome a two-goal deficit at home when the two teams meet for the second leg presented at the Estadio da Madeira in Portugal on the 28th of August.