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El-Hadary made history as Mali held Egypt to goalless draw

El-Hadary made history as Mali held Egypt to goalless draw
The Pharaohs failed to catch up with Ghana, as they drew with Mali 0-0 in their 2017 AFCON opener on Tuesday.

Egypt dropped two points as they failed to win their first AFCON opener since 2002, when they lost to Senegal in the tournament which was held in Mali.

Egypt’s starting XI: ElShenawy; Fathy, Gabr, Hegazy, AbdelShafy; Elneny, Hamed, El-Said; Salah, Trezeguet, Mohsen.

Mali’s starting XI: Sissoko; Hamari, Salif, Wague, O.Coulibaly; L.Coulibaly, Sylla, Yatabare, N’Diaye; Sako, Marega.

Egypt started the game very cautiously, as they continued to apply Héctor Cúper’s defensive strategy and played on the counter attack from the early stages of the game.

The first-half saw also Ahmed El-Shenawy picking up a calf injury in the 25th minute, and was replaced by Essam El-Hadary, who made history becoming the oldest player to ever feature in the Africa Cup of Nations.

In the second half, the Pharaohs kept playing with the same style, which saw them threatening Mali’s Goalkeeper only once when Trezguet whipped in a brilliant cross to Marwan Mohsen, whose diving header was tipped away by the keeper.

Ramadan Sobhi replaced Mohamed Salah in the 71st minute, and Braga’s Koka replaced Mohsen six minutes later, but the duo couldn’t change the scoreline, due to lack of creativity from the Egyptian’s midfielders.

In the 80th minute, Mali nearly scored through Coulibaly but his header went wide, before Essam El-Hadary brilliantly denied Marega from scoring the winning goal.

Egypt are currently joint second with Mali, and will face fourth placed Uganda, who lost their opening game against Ghana, on Saturday Jan. 21 at 21:00 CLT.

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