An 85th minute goal from second half substitute midfielder Hamdi Fathi
handed Egypt a 1-0 win over Liberia on Thursday in their last warm up game ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros on 14 and 18 respectively.
The 25-year-old midfielder maintained his dream start for the Pharaohs, scoring both winning goals against Botswana 1-0 last month, and Liberia 1-0 in his first two international appearances.
Despite the fact that the seven-time African Champions were playing without their foreign-based stars, their tame display is far from reassuring just a week before the Kenya game.
As expected, Egypt took control from the opening whistle and they should have been three goals up in the first 20 minutes.
Winger Ahmed "Zizo" El-Sayed missed the chance twice to make an impact on his Egypt debut once when he was sent clear in the area, but his shot inched next to the post in the first minute of the game and then he lost the ball while trying to round the keeper before shooting in an empty net.
Striker Ahmed Gomaa missed the third glaring opportunity of the first half, as he put the ball over the bar while being almost on the goal line.
The visitors managed to regroup midway through the first half and closed down spaces. The Pharaohs maintained their ball possession but struggled to further threaten the rival keeper.
The hosts failed to improve after the interval in spite of coach Hossam El-Badry making eight changes to reverse his fortunes.
We had to wait until the 85th minute when substitute right-back Mohamed Hani made a darting run on the flank to play a low cross to an unmarked Fathi who made no mistake with a direct shot from inside the area.
Zizo completed his hat-trick of misses when Rami Rabia sent him a brilliant through ball behind the defence, but his curling ball went off the goal.
El-Badry would expect his foreign-based players to join the camp following their weekend games starting from 10 November.
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