VIDEO: Gamal bags first Egypt goal as Pharaohs down Kenya ahead of AFCON qualifiers
Egypt defeated Kenya 1-0 in a friendly match, comprised mainly of Egypt-based players, that featured Bobby Willam’s debut as the Harambee Stars’ manager.
Egypt: Essam El-Hadary (Ahmed El-Shennawy 45′), Hazem Emam, Ahmed Said ‘Okka’, Shawky El-Said, Sabri Rahil, Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ (Ahmed Fathi 70′), Ibrahim Abdel-Khalek (Amr Gamal 45′), Momen Zakaria (Omar Gaber 79′), Hany El-Egeizy (Hossam Ghaly 63′), Hosni Abd-Rabo, Khaled Kamar.
Kenya: Wilson Obungu, Edwin Wafula, Charles Odette, Jackson Saleh, Aboud Omar, David Odhiambo, Humphrey Mieno, Noah Wafula, David Kingatua (Vincent Omumbo 74′), Brian Osumba (Godfrey Kataka 63′), Jesse Were.
The opening half was a cagey, physical affair with neither side managing to stamp their authority on the game.
Hosni Abd-Rabo had a chance to test the goalkeeper Obungu in the 13th minute from a direct free-kick, but the former Strasbourg and now Ismaily midfielder could only hit the wall. Four minutes later, Khaled Kamar glanced a header wide after good work on the right flank by Hazem Emam.
An Egypt corner in the 31st minute culminated in Shawy El-Said heading just over the bar, as the spectators at the renovated Aswan Stadium began to grow restless.
Despite their lack of attacking threat, the Pharaohs were controlling possession against a Kenya side that sat back and looked to hit on the counter attack.
Towards the end of the first half, Kenya had their first chance of the game as Mieno shot high and wide, and Kamar almost gave the hosts the lead a few seconds later only to be smartly denied by the diving Obungu.
The Zamalek striker then contrived to miss two more chances in the dying moments of a poor first half, and the teams went in level at the break.
Shawky Gharib made a couple of changes at the start of the second half, with El-Shennawy replacing El-Hadary and Amr Gamal coming on for Zakaria as the home side began to attack with more urgency.
Frustration began to show in the Egyptians’ play and Kamar somehow managed to avoid a yellow card for a bad tackle in the 55th minute.
Nevertheless, Amr Gamal sent the fans into delirium less than 60 seconds later; the 23-year-old Al Ahly star hit a first-time finish into the far corner with Obungu stranded.
The game slowed down after the goal, and although El-Shennawy was forced into a save in the 65th minute, the Harambee Stars were offering very little going forward, opting instead to defend deep and limit Egyptian chances.
Gharib swapped El-Egeizy for Hossam Ghaly with less than half an hour to go, and Abd-Rabo duly presented the captain’s armband to the 32-year-old.
Omar Gaber replaced the unimpressive Zakaria with in the 79th minute, just after Kamar shot straight at Obungu from the edge of the area.
The Sofakapa stopper was on hand again four minutes later to catch Gamal’s deflected effort as both teams became increasingly stretched, and Obungu came out on top again 2 minutes from time when he pulled off a flashy save to deny Gamal for the second time, as the match came to a close.
The Pharaohs will face Senegal away from home in a week’s time; the first match of their AFCON 2015 qualifying campaign.
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