VIDEO: Egypt face elimination from U20 World Cup after loss to Iraq
African champions Egypt face elimination from the U-20 World Cup after once again failing to preserve their lead to lose 2-1 in their second Group E game to a strong Iraqi side in Antalya on Wednesday.
Egypt’s starting line-up: Mossad Awad; Mahmoud Metwally, Rami Rabia, Yasser Ibrahim, Mahmoud Wahid (Ahmed Samir); Osama Ibrahim, Mahmoud Hamad, Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan (Omar Bassam), Saleh Gomaa (Hossam Ghaly); Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ Abdel-Moneim, Ahmed ‘Koka’ Hassan.
In Egypt’s second Group E match at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey, the Young Pharaohs were defeated 2-1 by Iraq in almost the exact same fashion in which they lost their previous game against Chile: surrendering an early 1-0 lead before conceding a goal in each half with no response.
Rabie Yassin made a number of changes to Egypt’s starting line-up after last Sunday’s disappointing performance against Chile. Midfielder Mahmoud Hamad – who was stabbed in Ismailia a few weeks prior to the tournament – made his first appearance in Turkey for Egypt, replacing Ahly’s Hossam Ghaly, while Ahmed Samir made way for Mahmoud Wahid at left-back.
African Youth Championship Player of the Tournament Saleh Gomaa, who was dropped from the starting eleven against Chile, regained his place at the expense of winger Ahmed Refaat.
The duo were both criticized by Yassin a few days after the loss to Chile for their short spells in Europe – with Gomaa trialing with Anderlecht and Borussia Dortmund before U-turning away from Germany’s Fürth, while Ahmed Refaat – who did not feature against Iraq – recently underwent trials with Basel and Sevilla.
Egypt survived early pressure before Rio Ave striker Ahmed Hassan “Koka” – the only foreign-based player in the squad – opened the scoring in the 27th minute, thanks to a superb header following a great cross by right-back Osama Ibrahim.
Iraq’s Ammar Al-Asadi leveled the score six minutes later, taking advantage of the lack of Egyptian pressure before striking past Mossad Awad from outside the box. A late strike by Mohannad Abdul-Raheem dealt the African champions their second consecutive defeat in Turkey.
Egypt now lie at the bottom of Group E with zero points while Iraq and Chile have four points each, two ahead of third-placed England with one match remaining.
The Young Pharaohs’ only hope of qualifying to the round of 16 would be beating England in their last group game on Saturday to potentially finish as one of the top four third-placed teams.
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