Egypt's players (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's national team defeated Malawi 2-1 in a friendly match on Monday amid their preparation for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Pharaohs will officially kick off their bid to reach the Gabon finals on 14 June against Tanzania.
A first-half goal by midfielder Ahmed Hassan Mekky gave the Egyptians an early lead, before striker Mohamed El-Gabbas increased the lead directly after the second half start.
Malawi fought fiercely to restore the balance, but they only managed to hit the net once on the hour mark.
Missing both Ahly and Zamalek players who had continental commitments with their clubs on Sunday, Egypt's Argentian coach Hector Cuper relied on a second string team against Malawi.
In the 19th minute, a blunder from Malawi defender put the ball in the path of Haras El-Hodoud midfielder Ahmed Hassan Mekky who tapped home from close range to give the hosts an early lead.
Three minutes after the break, Wadi Degla striker Mohamed El-Gabbas cleverly snatched the ball from the opponents' defenders to add the second goal with a powerful shot from inside the area.
Midfielder John Banda scored Malawi's only goal on minute 63, as he quickly skipped past Egypt defenders to score from a close range.
Egypt, who have won seven AFCON trophies, have been drawn in Group G of the 2017 qualifiers along with Nigeria, Tanzania and Chad.
The Egyptian side has been out of action since November, when they failed to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, under former coach Shawky Gharib.
They have only played a friendly match in March, weeks after Cuper’s appointment, defeating Equatorial Guinea 2-0.
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