Egypt maintain summit with narrow win

Mohamed Aboutreika (Photo: CAFonline.com)
Mohamed Aboutreika (Photo: CAFonline.com)

Egypt moved closer towards a spot in the final stage of the African qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, beating Zimbabwe 2-1 on Tuesday in Alexandria.

The clash marked day 3 of Group G of the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying series. Saudi-based midfielder Hosni Abd Rabo opened the scorings for the Pharaohs after 65 minutes from a powerful free kick, before Knowledge Musona equalized for the visitors a quarter-of-an hour from time.  Talisman Mohamed Aboutreika scored from the spot three minutes to the end to give Egypt a much needed victory.

Egypt raised their tally to nine points solidifying their grip on the top spot, with five points separating them and second place Guinea with three games to go. Zimbabwe trails with a point and Madagascar in that order pointless.

The first half ended barren after the Pharaohs failed to impress with Zimbabwe emerging the better side. Egypt coach Bob Bradley started four attacking-minded players in Aboutreika, Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Ibrahim and Mohamed ‘Geddo’ Nagy. The hosts looked shaky upfront and Denver Mucamba could have opened the scoring for the visitors inside the opening minutes. The Zimbabwe forward beat an offside trap only to put the ball just wide. Aboutreika, should have scored for the Pharaohs after 32 minutes but his header bounced off the crossbar.

After the break, Bradley brought on England-based Ahmed Fathy to refresh his right side. The Egyptian supporters came in loud voices supporting their team, and finally Abd Rabo broke the deadlock after 65 minutes when his powerful shot beat Washington Arubi.

Against the run of play, the Warriors equalized when Musona got the best of Egypt’s keeper and captain Abd ElWahed El Sayed to stun the crowd. As the game wore on, Salah made a good ran from an Aboutreika pass and was fouled by his marker. Aboutreika converted the resultant spot kick to earn the Pharaohs the maximum points.

Source: CAFOnline.com

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