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Sunday, 16 May 2021

Egypt stroll to 3-0 win over Togo in one-sided friendly

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 28 Mar 2017
Mahmoud Kahraba (C) opened the scoring in Egypt's 3-0 friendly victory over Togo in Alexandria on Tuesday (Ahram)

Ahmed El-Sheikh marked his debut with a goal and Mahmoud Kahraba and Mohamed Elneny were also on target as Egypt strolled to a 3-0 friendly win over Togo on Tuesday in their first match since finishing as runners-up at the African Nations Cup last month.

All goals were scored in the second half as Egypt put in a commanding display at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium, with coach Hector Cuper injecting fresh blood to boost a promising side that lost 2-1 to Cameroon in the Nations Cup final in Gabon.

Among the new faces introduced by the Argentinean boss were Danish-born attacking midfielder Alexander Jakobsen, Maqassa's on-loan playmaker El-Sheikh and Ismaily defender Amr Tarek.

The Pharaohs' next competitive game will be against Tunisia in June in their opening Group J clash of the 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers. The group also includes Niger and Swaziland.

Egypt handed a debut to Jakobsen, also known in Egypt as Amir Adel, and he showed flashes of his talent in the first half before making way for Ahly-bound playmaker El-Sheikh after the break.

In a timid first half, Saudi-based winger Kahraba spearheaded a frontline lacking an out-and-out striker and, although the deep-lying forwards drew cheers from the crowd with some nifty footwork, especially from Stoke City's Ramadan Sobhi, they struggled to link up with one another in the final third.

Clear-cut chances were scarce in the first period but central defender Ahmed Hegazy could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute but sent a free header wide following a corner by Jakobsen.

Sobhi had a goal correctly disallowed for offside after running onto a through pass from the lively Kahraba while Amr Warda, who has made an impressive start with Greek side PAOK since joining in January, went close with a curling shot that sailed over the crossbar.

Togo's only effort saw former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor miss the target with a snap shot from inside the area.

It was one-way traffic in a second half completely dominated by Egypt, who took a deserved lead four minutes after the restart when Kahraba robbed defender Vincent Bossou on the edge of the area to go clear and place a low shot into the bottom corner with aplomb.

El-Sheikh, who looked composed on the ball, made it 2-0 on 56 minutes when his angled free kick eluded everyone and nestled into the corner of the net.

Elneny completed the rout eight minutes later when he broke clear after a long ball from Wigan Athletic midfielder Sam Morsy. His initial shot was blocked by the advancing keeper but a defender's attempted clearance fell at his feet again to blast a powerful drive into the empty net from inside the area.

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