A first-half goal by Zouheir Dhaouadi gave Tunisia a deserved 1-0 victory over a wasteful Egypt side in a friendly game in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
It was the first football meeting between the two nations since the two countries' revolutions in early 2011, which ended the autocratic rules of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, the former presidents of Tunisia and Egypt respectively.
Egypt tasted their first defeat in their UAE training camp, having beaten Congo 3-0 last Friday.
The Pharaohs are holding successive training camps abroad to make up for lack of domestic action, thanks to the enforced football stoppage that has been in place since February’s Port Said disaster.
Egypt coach Bob Bradley opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Harras El-Hodoud’s Ahmed Hassan Mekki playing in front of attacking trio Mahmoud "Shikabala" Abdel-Razek, Mohamed Abou-Treika and Mohamed Salah.
Tunisia displayed an intricate passing game in the first half, making some darting runs down the flanks as they quickly gained the upper hand.
Egypt’s sole chance before the break fell to right-back Ahmed Elmohamady, who blasted wide from inside the area after being picked out unmarked by a pass from winger Mahmoud "Shikabala" Abdel-Razek in the 15th minute.
Tunisia went ahead three minutes later when Zouheir Dhaouadi beat the offside trap to latch onto a deft through ball and break clear. He dinked the ball over Egypt keeper Essam El-Hadary from a tight angle despite a desperate attempt by central defender Ahmed Hegazy to clear the danger.
Bradley made several changes in the second half, introducing the likes of England-based defender Adam El-Abd and Turkey-based striker Amr Zaki, whose physical presence slightly improved Egypt’s all-round display.
Egypt created some goal-scoring opportunities after the interval but still lacked the cutting edge.
Abou-Treika sent a free header over the bar in the 52nd minute but Basel winger Salah was guilty of a more glaring chance four minutes later.
He burst clear following a defence-splitting pass from Abou-Treika but his low first-time shot went wide of the post.
Zaki, who plays for Turkish Super League side Elazığspor, was also unlucky to see a deflected shot from a narrow angle strike the post.
Tunisia also had a clear-cut chance denied by El-Hadary but they held onto their lead to claim a win.
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