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Pharaohs come back to tie Nigeria in Kaduna
Egypt XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy; Omar Gaber, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Hegazy, Hamada Tolba; Mohamed Elneny, Ibrahim Salah, Abdallah El-Said; Trezeguet, Koka, Mohamed Salah.
Nigeria XI: Ikeme; Amuzie, Ambrose, Oboabona, Shehu Abdullahi; Mikel, Etebo, Iheanacho; Simon, Musa, Ighalo.
The game immediately started with a dangerous change for the Super Eagles of Nigeria. CSKA Moscow winger Ahmed Musa sent in a threatening cross after skipping past left back Hamada Tolba, but went unchallenged in the box.
Nigeria continued to press the Egypt backline, who seemed uncomfortable from the opening whistle. After fifteen minutes, Ahmed El-Shennawy did well to control an Ahmed Musa cross.
Three minutes later, the Pharaohs should have taken the lead, but Koka’s shot was desperately saved by Ikeme. Toward the end of the first half, the pace of the game slowed down significantly, with both teams content to pass the ball around at midfield.
At the stroke of half time, Manchester City striker Iheanacho forced Zamalek goalkeeper El-Shennawy into another delightful save. The two African giants went into halftime tied 0-0, but Nigeria were by far the more threatening side.
Neither manager completed any halftime substitutions. Three minutes into the second half, Watford striker Ighalo’s acrobatic effort just went wide of El-Shennawy’s goal. Nigeria continued to control the second half proceedings, with Egypt attempting to take advantage via counter attacks.
In the 60th minute, the Super Eagles’ dominance finally amounted to a goal. Iheanacho’s delightful strike hit the crossbar, before Etebo stepped in front of Hamada Tolba to slot the rebound home.
Egypt manager Héctor Cúper immediately replaced Ahmed Hassan Koka with Marwan Mohsen. The Ismaily striker should have had an immediate impact, but his shot was saved by Ikeme. Ten minutes later, Hossam Ghaly replaced his Ahly teammate Abdallah El-Said, and he received the captain’s armband.
One minute later, Ahmed El-Shennawy completed a magnificent save to keep the score 1-0. Five minutes later, Trezeguet was replaced by Ramadan Sobhy.
In the 84th minute, Hamada Tolba saved the game for Egypt with a crucial goal line clearance following a Victor Moses shot.
The referee signaled for three minutes of stoppage time. That was all the time Egypt needed; Ramadan Sobhy slotted a delightful through-ball into Mohamed Salah, who made no mistake from 12 yards. The Pharaohs could have won the game in the third minute of stoppage time, but the referee inexplicably blew the whistle with Salah on the verge of a one-on-one with the Nigerian goalkeeper.
With the draw, Egypt remain on top of Group G with seven points, while Nigeria hold the second place position with five points. Tanzania is third with four, and Chad languishes with zero. The Pharaohs will host Nigeria on the 29th of March in Alexandria.