Group A matches have finally come to closure and it has seen...
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VIDEO: Egypt defeat Zambia 3-0 in Abu Dhabi friendly
A brace by Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ and a lone goal by Amr Gamal earned Egypt an impressive 3-0 victory over The Bullets of Zambia.
Héctor Cúper fielded a strong squad, with the only changes due to the injuries of usual starting right back Hazem Emam and midfielder Trezeguet. Omar Gaber and Tarek Hamed received rare starts in their places. Koka saw himself back in the starting line-up, partnering Zamalek talisman Bassem Morsi in a new-look 4-4-2.
Egypt XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy; Omar Gaber, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Hegazy, Abdel-Shafy Mohamed; El-Nenny, Tarek Hamed; Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’; Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’, Bassem Morsi.
Zambia XI: Kennedy Mweene, Benedict Chepeshi, Boyd Mkandawire, Stopila Sunzu, Buchizya Mfune, Jack Chirwa, Nathan Sinkala, Chisamba Lungu, Lubambo Musonda, Winstone Kelengo, Collins Mbesuma.
The Pharaohs got off to another early start when Kahraba and Mohamed Abdel Shafy linked up magnificently before the Ahli Jeddah left back sent a low cross into the box. Koka, Braga’s newest striker, calmly backheeled the ball home to give Egypt the lead within three minutes.
Kahraba continued to steal the show for the Egyptians with some extraordinary runs and footwork, and his pass almost led to a Bassem Morsy goal five minutes later. The Zamalek winger almost added a goal of his own in the 20th minute when his near post shot was superbly saved by Mweene.
The Pharaohs continued to control possession, but were not able to really threaten Mweene’s goal after Kahraba’s shot. However, the Zambians almost pulled even on the stroke of halftime when Mbesuma’s shot skimmed El-Shennawy’s post and went wide.
Argentine manager Héctor Cúper made three changes at halftime, sending Amr Gamal on for Bassem Morsi, Amr Warda on for Kahraba, and Al-Ahly midfielder Momen Zakaria on to replace Tarek Hamed.
Two minutes into the second half, Koka recorded his second goal. Omar Gaber sent in a delightful cross from the right wing, which Koka met first time on the volley, leaving Mweene with no chance.
In the 82nd minute, Zamalek striker Ahmed Hassan Mekki replaced Mohamed Salah, who received a standing ovation from the Egyptian fans in Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium.
In the final minute of stoppage time, another Omar Gaber cross found Amr Gamal, who slotted home a carbon copy of Koka’s second goal off the volley, and the game ended 3-0 in favor of the Pharaohs.
Egypt’s World Cup qualifying campaign kicks-off in November. The Pharaohs will be awaiting the winner of the October home-and-away playoff between Sierra Leone and Chad to see who it will face in its own World Cup qualifying playoff a month later. Chad defeated Sierra Leone 1-0 in the first leg yesterday.
Watch the goals: