Egypt beat Ghana to go top of World Cup qualifying group
Egypt’s national team sealed three precious points in their chase for a World Cup qualification ticket as they beat Ghana 2-0 at Borg El-Arab Stadium on Sunday.
Egypt XI: Essam El-Hadary; Ahmed Fathi, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy; Tarek Hamed, Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Said, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Salah; Bassem Morsy.
Ghana XI: Razak Brimah, Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Amartey, Baba Rahman; Thomas Partey, Wakaso Mubarak, Emmanuel Badu, Christian Atsu; Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew
The Pharaohs currently sit on top of Group E of the African 2018 World Cup qualifications with six points from two games, two points ahead of second-placed Uganda.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s bid to reach the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia suffered a huge blow as they dropped to the third position with only one point.
Egypt had a positive start to the game after they were awarded a free kick following a foul against Abdallah El-Said. El-Said smartly played a lob over the wall but Ghana keeper Brimah Razak was closer to the ball than Mohamed Salah.
The Black Stars responded four minutes later but Wakaso’s effort from distance easily found Essam El-Hadary’s hands.
At the 15-minute mark, Andrew Ayew was fouled near the edge of the penalty area by Elneny, Wakaso stepped up but his shot was cleared by El-Hadary and converted into a corner.
Twelve minute later, Egypt’s were on the verge of scoring their first goal when El-Said played a long through ball to Salah who tried from a close range but Razak diverted it before it was cleared by the defenders into a corner.
Three minutes to the break, Egypt were awarded a penalty kick as Trezeguet made a huge effort from the left side and dribbled past two defenders before he was fouled inside the box by Harrison Afful.
Salah converted to give the Pharaohs the lead as he sent Razak in the wrong direction two minutes before the end of the first half.
Egypt manager Hector Cuper decided to make his first substitution during the break, as Ramadan Sobhi replaced Bassem Morsi and Salah was pushed as a striker.
Ten minutes into the second half, Sobhi made his first impact in the game as he received a pass from Trezeguet but his shot wasn’t strong enough to cause any danger.
Five minutes later, Trezeguet managed beat Ghana defenders again before he found Salah with a brilliant pass but the AS Roma winger wasn’t quick enough as Ghana’s defender cleared the danger.
Around the one-hour mark, Ghana almost equalised as Christian Atsu received a pass between Egypt’s defenders but his shot was cleared by El-Hadary.
Ghana gradually managed to take control of the game but their possession wasn’t enough to break through the Egyptian heroic defending performances.
In the 85th minute, El-Said doubled Egypt’s lead following a brilliant counter attack. Salah passed to Sobhi on the left side, then the Stoke City winger played it again to Salah before it found El-Said who slotted home from close range.
Cuper made two substitutions in the additional time with Amr Warda and Momen Zakaria coming on to replace El-Said and Trezeguet.
Egypt’s next game in the qualifiers will be against Uganda in August 2017.
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