Egypt surrender lead to lose to Chile in U-20 World Cup opener
Egypt take an early lead but slump to a 2-1 defeat by Chile in their opening game of the U-20 World Cup in Turkey on Sunday
Hatem Maher, Sunday 23 Jun 2013
Egypt failed to preserve their lead to lose 2-1 to a vibrant Chile side in their opening Group E game of the U-20 World Cup in Antalya on Sunday.
Mahmoud Kahraba, Egypt's top scorer in their triumphant African Championship campaign earlier this year, gave his side the lead after 10 minutes but Nicolas Castillo brought Chile level 15 minutes later.
Manuel Bravo struck with 13 minutes remaining to condemn Egypt to an opening defeat. Chile's Cristian Cuevas received a straight red card nine minutes from time for a two-footed lunge on an opponent but they held out to claim all three points.
Providing the spark Egypt usually lack, Kahraba excelled in the roving forward role, causing constant menace to Chile's backline and repeatedly exposing the gaps in the shaky defence.
He was awarded after 10 minutes when he latched onto a defence splitting pass to send a first-time low shot past Chile's keeper Dario Melo.
The ENPPI midfielder, who was not helped by the sluggishness of lone striker Ahmed Hassan "Kouka", went close to doubling the lead seven minutes later when his low shot from the edge of the area went narrowly wide after lively midfielder Hossam Ghaly teed him up.
Chile, who had hardly threatened Egypt by then, leveled the score against the run of play on 25 minutes. A poor defensive clearance fell to Castillo, whose shot deflected off a defender and looped over keeper Mosaad Awad into the net.
Kahraba wasted another goal-scoring chance seven minutes before the break when his free header at the far post hit the side netting following a neatly-worked counter attack.
Chile laid siege to Egypt's area in a second half they totally dominated and were unlucky not to go ahead on a couple of occasions, including a close-range header by Castillo which was superbly blocked by Awad.
They were denied by some desperate defending but their pressure eventually paid dividends in the 77th minute. Pouncing on a loose ball, Manuel Bravo eluded two defenders inside the area to fire home.
Chile's Cuevas was dismissed in the 81st minute but Egypt failed to make their numerical advantage count, with their opponents maintaining the upper hand in the latter stages.
Some shy crosses from Egypt went begging, with the lack of a reliable striker taking its toll on the young Pharaohs.
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