Egypt have been held in a 1-1 home draw by Morocco in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers on Sunday.
The Pharaohs – who play in this tournament with local-based players – enjoyed a great start of the game as Ahmed El-Sheikh opened the scoring as early as the second minute, converting a penalty kick he earned himself.
The visitors managed to recover from this stunning start and slowly gained control of the game.
In the 53rd minute, Badr Banoun capitalised on the Atlas Lions’ domination after rising to a free kick to send a powerful header to the back of the net.
Egyptian keeper Mohamed Awad emerged as a hero in the 61st minute when he blocked a penalty kick from Abdelilah Hafidi.
He also made several superb saves to prevent the hosts from conceding a defeat.
The return leg will be in Rabat on Friday and the winner of the two-legged tie will reach the finals, which will be played in Kenya in January.
Egypt is taking part in the African Nations Championship – a tournament exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships – for the first time since its foundation in 2009.
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