Mohamed Abou-Treika put off-field distractions out of his mind to lead Egypt to a 3-0 victory over Congo in a friendly game in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.
The veteran playmaker scored twice and created a goal as Egypt scored in the last five minutes of the first half to overcome their modest opponent. The Pharaohs will also face Tunisia on Tuesday as part of their training camp in the UAE.
Abou-Treika was called up by Egypt coach Bob Bradley despite being banned by his club Ahly for two months after skipping the Egypt Super Cup game against ENPPI last month.
The 33-year-old, who was heavily criticised by his Ahly teammates, opted not to take part in the game in solidarity with the team’s hardcore supporters (Ultras Ahlawy), who demanded that the club abstain from playing any games until the perpetrators of February’s Port Said disaster are brought to justice.
The mild-mannered footballer, who later apologised for his actions, showed no ill-effects on Friday when he put a full-strength Egypt side in front after 40 minutes. He notched home with aplomb after running onto a deft pass from forward Ahmed Hassan Mekki.
He set up Ahly teammate Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ for the second four minutes later before wrapping up the victory on the stroke of halftime.
Egypt will not play any competitive games until March next year when they host Zimbabwe in a World Cup qualifier.
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