Last-gasp strike gives Egypt friendly win over Tunisia ahead of AFCON

It is the first win for Egypt over Tunisia since 2002 as both sides gear up for the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on Saturday in Gabon

Omar Zaazou , Sunday 8 Jan 2017,
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Egypt
Tunisian Youssef Meskeni (R) vies with Egypt's Mohamed Elneny (L) for the ball during their international friendly football match at the Cairo International stadium in the Egyptian capital on January 8, 2017. (Photo: AFP)

Ahly striker Marwan Mohsen struck in stoppage-time to give Egypt a 1-0 friendly victory over North African rivals Tunisia at Cairo Stadium, as the Pharaohs gear up for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

The winner came in the first minute of injury time when Marwan found the far corner of the net with a sliding effort from inside the area, in a match that saw Egypt struggle to create clear-cut chances .

The victory over Tunisia is Egypt's first against the Carthage Eagles since 2002, with the seven-time African champions losing four games out of five since then, including two home and away clashes in the 2014 Nations Cup qualifiers.

Egypt, who were drawn alongside Uganda and Ghana in Group D, will not play any more friendly matches before opening their campaign against Mali on 17 January.

Sub Marwan wins the game

Coach Hector Cuper opted to experiment with some substitute players ahead of the Gabon finals, starting with Sherif Ekramy in goal, left-back Karim Hafez, center-back Saad Samir along with Amr Warda and Ramadan Sobhi.

Egypt looked organized without the ball as Cuper continued with his reactive approach, but the hosts struggled to orchestrate passing moves that would unsettle their opponents' defense.

Lone forward Ahmed Hassan 'Koka' headed wide in the 22nd minute after Warda, who started in a number 10 position, did well to control the ball before crossing for the Sporting Braga striker.      

Panetolikos winger Warda could have become scorer when he saw a header go high over the bar in the 60th minute in what was more of a half-chance for the home side.

With the Argentinean Cuper introducing five players, including keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi, Ahmed Elmohamady, Mohamed Salah and Mahmoud 'Kahraba' in the second period, it was the latter who eventually proved crucial, feeding another sub in Marwan.

The Ahly frontman did great to hold off a Tunisia defender before turning and sliding the ball home and into the far corner to give Egypt a morale-boosting win ahead of the AFCON finals.

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