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VIDEO: Egypt fail to reach African U-20 Championship despite Congo win
Goals from Youssef Ibrahim ‘Obama’ and Karim Walid ‘Nedved’ gave Yasser Radwan’s Young Pharaohs a 2-1 win against Congo in the return leg in Alexandria, but it wasn’t enough to see them reach the 2015 African U-20 Championship due to their 2-0 loss in the first leg.
The Egyptians chose a 4-2-3-1 system, a system that was no where to be seen during the match’s 90 minutes.
The whistle blew and the Congolians rushed right at the Egyptians, a sign that they were not comfortable with their 2-0 lead during the first leg, but looked for more.
Two minutes later, Al Ahly’s young star Ramadan Sobhy found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after a brilliant through ball from Youssef Obama; however, Sobhy’s attempted chipped lacked power and was saved by the keeper.
In the 6th minute a Mohamed Soby cross found Egypt’s Obama, who attempted an overhead kick but it went well over the bar.
Congo looked unorganized, depending on long balls and counting on the Egyptian defence to commit errors, which occurred on countless occasions starting at the 8th minute, when Ykaki chipped the ball above the bar after a long ball was headed down to him.
At the 13th minute, a long ball by the Egyptian defence found Obama, who controlled the ball and was getting ready to finish into the back of the net but was interrupted by a defender’s hand tapping the ball away. The Ethiopian referee pointed to the spot, awarding Egypt a penalty, which Karim Walid ‘Nedved’ stood up to take but passed it right in the keeper’s hand.
At times, the Young Pharaohs forced their opponents into their own half, which would sound rational as a 2-0 aggregate lead meant progression for the Congolians.
The breakthrough came in the 20th minute when Shika was tripped in the box awarding Egypt another penalty, which Obama calmly finished into the left corner.
Egypt’s goal was almost cancelled out at the other end by Nkongo, who headed the ball inches past Egypt’s left post. The same player took a shot from a difficult angle outside the box in the 32nd minute which seemed to be going in but again went just wide of the post.
Two powerful shots from outside the box could have very well tied this game if not for the Egyptian goalkeeper, as well as a one-on-one situation which he reacted to swiftly, getting to the ball before the striker could tap it in.
The Congolians seemed eager to tie the game at start of the second half, and did so in the 48nd minute after Congo’s number 11 cut inside onto his left foot, getting past Ehab Rayan, to finish after Mahmoud Hamdy’s failed tackle.
FC Union Berlin winger Abdallah Gomaa come on for Shika right after the goal, a substitution that proved crucial for the Egyptians.
In the 53th minute, Congo’s defender failed to clear the ball, providing Ramadan Sobhy with another chance to put Egypt ahead again but he failed to take it.
Egypt brought on a number 9 for Ahmed Alaa on the 55th minute, and 10 minutes later Arab Contractors starlet Taher Mohamed came on for Ahmed El-Shimy. It must be noted that El-Shimy provided Egypt’s full-backs and forwards with dangerous long balls throughout the match, rarely missing his targets.
In the 79th minute, Karim Walid ignited the Egyptians’ spirit again after scoring a screamer from outside of the box in the top right corner.
However, the game ended with a scoreline of 2-1, which means Egypt, who were crowned champions in Algeria last year, have failed to qualify to the tournament for the first time since 1999.