Egypt's skipper Ahmed Hassan has become the world’s most capped player after making a substitute appearance in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Niger in a friendly game in Qatar.
The evergreen midfielder replaced lively winger Ahmed Elmohamady with 14 minutes remaining to earn his 179th international cap, overtaking former Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Deayea who played 178 international games.
The 36-year-old has been one of Egypt’s most consistent performers since making his senior team debut in 1995. He led the Pharaohs to four African Cup of Nations titles in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
He scored 33 goals, including a memorable one in the 2-0 win over South Africa during the 1998 Nations Cup final in Burkina Faso.
A depleted Egypt side, who missed many regular players as Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek prepare for their African Champions League commitments, grabbed their second consecutive friendly win, having crushed a second-string Kenya side 5-0 on Monday.
Midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou, who wore the captain’s armband before the introduction of Hassan, sent Niger's keeper the wrong way from the spot for Egypt’s winner midway through the first half.
The penalty was awarded after a Niger player fouled Sunderland’s Elmohamady, who was a constant threat down the right flank with some pinpoint crosses.
Niger were unlucky not to equalise on 27 minutes when they had a deflected shot superbly denied by a one-handed save from Egypt’s promising goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy.
Egypt squandered several chances to double their lead after the break, including a powerful shot by midfielder Mohamed El-Nenni which struck the bar.
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