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Egypt continue to struggle in friendly loss to South Africa


Photo: Football Association

national team have lost 1-0 to South Africa in Soweto on Tuesday in their final friendly before beginning their campaign.

Egypt XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy, Omar Gaber, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Dweidar, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Mohamed Elneny, Ibrahim Salah, Abdallah El-Said, Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’, Mohamed Salah; Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’.

South Africa XI: Itumeleng Khune, Abbubaker Mobara, Tebogo Langerman, Clayton Daniels, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Mpho Makola, Mandla Masango, Keagan Dolly, Thamsanqa Gabuza.

After drawing 1-1 with Guinea in Alexandria, Egypt have ended their preparation for Congo’s encounter in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with a loss against South Africa in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge match at the Orlando Stadium.

Just four minutes into the game, Egypt went so close to take an early lead as Mohamed Salah set up Koka with a ball but the SC Braga striker was denied by South Africa’s goalkeeper Itumeleng.

The hosts took the lead in the seventh minute when Mpho Makola headed a cross from the right side into Shennawy’s net.

After 23 minutes, Abdallah El-Said played a through ball to Salah who sent the ball wide but he was flagged for offside.

Egypt’s best chance of the half came three minutes before the break, when Trezeguet made it through South Africa’s defense before he passed the ball to Koka whose shot inside the penalty box was blocked by the defense.

The rest of the half was uneventful as the first half ended with a 1-0 lead for the South Africans.

As the Pharaohs were aiming to make their way back into the game Trezeguet missed a chance for an equaliser, when he met Omar Gaber’s cross with an off target header only four minutes into the second half.

Egypt came close again in the 55th minute as Salah received a pass from Trezeguet who made a great effort on the left side, but the winger’s shot went inches wide from the right side.

The AS Roma winger squandered another chance in the second half, as he found Abdel-Shafy’s cross but his header went wide.

Cuper brought on Tarek Hamed, Ramadan Sobhi, Ahmed Fathi and Amr Gamal into the pitch replacing Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Said, Omar Gaber and Koka respectively.

The Argentine coach’s changes were unable to create real chances as the Pharaohs failed to make their way back in the remaining minutes with the game ending 1-0 to the Bafana Bafana.

This records Egypt’s last friendly loss ahead of their match against Congo in October in the opening game of the World Cup qualifiers.

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