Shikabala scored a beauty in Egypt’s final game of the World Cup qualifiers
Hector Cuper’s men showed some decent individual displays throughout the first half, but unfortunately lacked solidity and consistency especially in their defensive system.
Only 20 minutes into the game, Ghana attempted their first real threat on goal after a through ball that tore the defense apart which could’ve been awarded a penalty.
A part from the errors at the back, there were a lot of impressive displays to mention from the first half, watching the full backs push up into the middle of the park to widen the pitch when in possession and more importantly, Shikabala’s revival to the play maker’s position with a lot of tactical awareness in maintaining some smooth and easy on the eye link up play between the holding midfielders and the forwards.
Ghana, on the other hand, had a total possession of 65% but the numbers sometimes may lie, as the Black Stars showed no character in processing their possession into threats. Or in other words, in spite of the Pharaohs’ defensive style of play; Hector Cuper’s tactics were the dominant force which controlled the game.
The tables were turned over in the second half, as Egypt’s pragmatic system nearly collapsed and the Black stars began their reign over the pitch.
Shkia almost scored the opener for the guests after a great pass from Sobhi which found Shika who didn’t hesitate to try his left foot at the near post but was well denied by the keeper just three minutes into the second half.
The game’s tempo kept on rising in baby steps before it reached its climax at the hour mark, as the long awaited return of Shikabala witnessed a brilliant goal by the 31-year old after an unpredictable shot from inside the penalty area which found Richard Ofori’s net.
Unfortunately the lead didn’t last more than two minutes, as Ghana found their equalizer from Edwin Gyasi after his shot was deflected into Sherif Ekramy’s goal.
Ghana dominated the rest of the game, but Cuper’s zone defending was enough for the national team to fly back to Egypt with a point in hand.
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