VIDEO: Egypt stroll to win over Mozambique to give Bradley winning start

Hatem Maher, Friday 1 Jun 2012

Egypt open their World Cup qualifying campaign with an easy 2-0 victory over Mozambique on Friday

Egypt 2-0 Mozambique
Egypt's Mahmoud Fathallah celebrates with Mohamed Zidan after scoring against Mozambique during their 2014 World Cup Brazil qualifying soccer match at Borg El Arab "Army Stadium" (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt made light of their myriad of footballing problems to open their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 home victory over Mozambique and give coach Bob Bradley a winning start on Friday.

A dull first-half ended goalless but two goals from central defender Mahmoud Fathallah and Mainz forward Mohamed Zidan after the break handed Egypt an easy win in their Group G opener.

Former United States boss Bradley will be relieved to enjoy a winning start in his first competitive test, having had to deal with a series of problems since succeeding Hassan Shehata last year.

All domestic football activities have been suspended since February’s infamous Port Said disaster, leaving Bradley struggling to prepare his side for the crucial World Cup commitments as they seek to qualify for the football’s most prestigious event for the first time since 1990.

Security concerns have forced Egypt to face Mozambique behind closed doors at the 86,000-seat Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria. The seven-time African champions next face Guinea away from home on 10 June.

In four meetings between both sides, Egypt beat Mozambique with the same 2-0 score line.

Dour half

Looking highly affected by lack of domestic action, a toothless Egypt side hardly troubled Mozambique in the first half.

The hosts, short of the kind of fan support which always roar them on, were restricted to some tame shots and crosses, which were easily dealt with by Mozambique keeper Rafael Kampango, who plays for Egyptian second-division side Tersana.

Veteran playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika was Egypt’s liveliest performer, thanks to his defence-splitting passes that his teammates failed to make use of during the first half.

One of those passes released attacking midfielder Mohamed Salah, who will join Swiss side Basel in the summer, after nine minutes but his weak effort was easily collected by Kampango.

Forward Ahmed Temsah, making his competitive debut, partnered 2010 Nations Cup hero Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ upfront but neither made an impact.

Egypt’s best chance before the break fell to midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou, who was picked out unmarked by a superb chipped pass from Salah but his mis-hit volley from inside the area went wide.

Two goals

Egypt notably improved after the interval, and were revitalized by the second-half introduction of Zidan, who is set to leave Bundesliga side Mainz in the summer.

The Pharaohs’ pressure paid dividends in the 56th minute when towering central defender Ahmed Hegazy, who is set to join Serie A side Fiorentina, nodded a cross into the path of the unmarked Fathallah at the far post to slot home.

Zidan doubled the lead three minutes past the hour mark when he nipped in between two defenders to collect a pass from Temsah and send a left-foot shot that struck the post before bouncing off Kampango’s back and into the net.

Egypt took their foot off the gas pedal afterwards but their win was never in doubt.

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Egypt 2-0 Mozambique

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