Mostafa Mohamed hands Hossam Hassan a winning start to his Egypt reign

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Mar 2024

Hossam Hassan era began as well as it could have as Egypt secured a 1-0 victory over New Zealand on Friday in the debut match at Egypt Stadium in the New Administrative Capital.



Mostafa Mohamed scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 29th minute to qualify Egypt for the final of Egypt Capital Cup on Tuesday against the winner between Croatia and Tunisia.

This goal marks Mohamed's fifth in his last five appearances for the Pharaohs, continuing his impressive scoring streak that began during the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Hassan made a tactical shift to a 4-2-3-1 formation, departing from his predecessor Rui Vitoria's 4-3-3 scheme. He also introduced playmaker Mohamed "Afsha" Magdy and defender Rami Rabia to the starting lineup after nearly two years. Additionally, Omar Marmoush of Eintracht Frankfurt filled in on the right flank in the absence of captain Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian side started slowly against a well-organized New Zealand team but picked up the pace midway through the first half.

From the first real action, Emam Ashour's penetrating run resulted in a penalty after he was brought down in the box, confirmed by VAR review. Mostafa Mohamed capitalized on the opportunity, converting from the spot just before the half-hour mark. Unfortunately, Ashour had to leave the field due to injury.

Despite maintaining control, Egypt missed chances to extend their lead, with Mohamed's close-range effort saved by the keeper and Mahmoud Trezeguet's volley narrowly missing the target.

After the break, New Zealand pushed forward in search of an equalizer. Goalkeeper Mohamed Abo Gabal, wearing the captain's armband for the first time, made a crucial save to deny Liberato Cacace. The woodwork also came to Egypt's aid, deflecting a well-placed free kick from Sarpreet Singh.

Although Egypt threatened on the counter, Marmoush and Trezeguet lacked the final touch. Marwan Attia was unfortunate to see his powerful strike hit the post in the 80th minute.

Hassan introduced fresh legs in the final stages, giving Mahmoud El Shamy and Mohamed Shoukry their international debuts. Despite New Zealand's late surge, Egypt's solid defense held firm, securing the victory and a spot in the final on Tuesday.

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