VIDEO: Egypt World Cup hopes dashed after Ghana crushing
A humiliating 6-1 defeat leaves Egypt's World Cup dream almost impossible to realise
Sherif Tarek, Tuesday 15 Oct 2013
An error-ridden Egypt were battered 6-1, outmuscled by Ghana in the first leg of the World Cup playoff tie Tuesday, in an unprecedented humiliating result that saw the Pharaohs' long-held World Cup qualification hopes all but shattered.
Capitalising on their home advantage, Ghana started all guns blazing, tightening their grip on the game from the very beginning and handing Egypt one of their worst-ever defeats.
The loss is the biggest in the head-to-head record of the two teams, and one of the worst in Egypt's history.
At the fully packed Baba Yara Stadium and under heavy rain, obvious were Egypt's deadly defensive lapses, mis-placed passes, and inability to play fluent football throughout the match.
Asamoah Gyan opened the scoring as early as the 5th minute before Wael Gomaa's own-goal doubled the Black Stars' lead on 22 minutes.
Egypt pulled one back when veteran playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika converted a penalty kick four minutes from the interval.
However, Ghana still went to the dressing room with a two-goal lead after Abdul Majeed Waris netted the third on 44 minutes.
Egypt were spanked three more times in the second half by Gyan (53), Sulley Muntari (72), and Christian Atsu (89).
Egypt, who haven't made it to the World Cup since 1990, will host the second leg on 19 November in Cairo.
Gyan soon translated Ghana's dominance when he darted unopposed to penetrate the area to hit the net with a powerful low shot.
The hosts had another golden chance near the quarter-hour mark when defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour was robbed near the edge of the area by the energetic Waris, whose effort was neatly blocked by goalie Sherif Ekrami.
Ekrami, who was replaced in the second half after picking up an injury and conceding four goals, produced another magnificent save when he palmed Waris' header at full stretch.
But Ghana hit the second when Michael Essien bamboozled Hossam Ghaly and Mohamed Naguib in the area, before Egypt's veteran defender Gomaa sloted the ball into his own net amid the goalmouth scramble.
With Egypt barely redeeming themselves, Salah earned a penalty kick that Abou-Treika converted to give the visitors a glimpse of hope that did not last for long.
Unfazed by his marker, the in-form Waris headed a diagonal free kick to register Ghana's third.
After the break, Egypt Coach Bob Bradley sent in Zamalek star Shikabala who did too little to improve the team's lackluster performance upon replacing Shedid.
The diminutive Shedid was surprisingly included in Egypt's lineup instead of veteran left back Sayed Moawad. Walid Soliman was another unexpected inclusion in the starting eleven, forming a three-pronged attack with Abou-Treika and Salah.
Bradley opted for a compact and solid midfield with three central midfielders in Hossam Ghaly, Hossam Ashour and Mohamed El-Neny. Experienced and skilful defensive midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou, who has recently recovered from a long-standing knee injury, was benched.
The American manager adopted a more defensive strategy near the half-hour mark, in an attempt to improve the stuttering backline. He switched to a more conservative 3-4-3 scheme, deploying Ghaly as a sweeper and bringing in Hull City wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady instead of Ashour.
But the move barely thwarted Ghana's onslaught.
The unmarked Gyan headed Ghana's 4th goal from close range early in the second half.
One of Egypt's rare chances fell to Naguib, who missed the target from inside the area, seeing his tame curling effort go wide of the mark.
Shortly afterwards, Waris earned a free-kick that was converted by Muntari.
Ghana substitute Atsu put the icing on the cake with an unstoppable long-range shot.
Emmanuel Badu could've added a seventh when he rifled another thunderbolt, but goalie El-Shenawy, who conceded two goals, punched the ball away.
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