Egypt midfielder Hamdi Fathi enjoyed a dream debut for his international career by scoring the winner against Botswana 1-0 on Monday to set his Hossam El-Badry
off to a winning start to his Pharaohs era.
It took him only 20 minutes of international football to score his debut goal as he came off the bench in the 53rd minute to slot home from close range the winner in the 73rd minute.
Without Egypt's deadliest weapon Mohamed Salah, who was rested from this game, the seven-time African champions struggled to make their domination count against the Zebras who are at the 139th position in the FIFA world ranking for the month of October.
The hosts had at least a dozen chances against only one shot on target for their visitors but could only grab one goal.
Egypt dominated the first half but lacked the final touch. Braga striker Ahmed "Kouka" Hassan came close from scoring twice inside the 15 minutes but his curling shot was deflected into the corner while his close range header went over the bar.
Aston Villa winger Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan was sent clear after a defence-splitting pass by Abdallah El-Said, but his tight-angled shot was saved by the keeper.
El-Said, who was orchestrating the play upfront, also combined with Hussein El-Shahat inside the box but his low shot went next to the post.
The pace dropped after the half hour mark with the Pharaohs controlling the game but failing to capitalise on their domination.
After the break, Kouka missed a couple of particularly presentable chances once with a backheel that was brilliantly saved by the keeper while his close range header missed the target.
Botswana keeper had to stretch to deny a well-placed free kick from El-Shahat and keep the score level.
The game eventually went Egypt way when Fathi met a low cross from defender Mahmoud Alaa with the goal at his mercy.
The victory keeps Egypt's perfect record against Botswana as in their previous six encounters when the Pharaohs won four times and were only held twice.
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