Egypt deserved bigger win over Lebanon, says keeper El-Shennawi

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Dec 2021

Egypt could have secured a bigger victory over Lebanon had they taken most of their goal-scoring chances, keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi said after the Pharaohs claimed a narrow 1-0 win in their opening FIFA Arab Cup game on Wednesday.

Mohamed El-Shennawi
Egypt s goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi (L) vies for the ball with Lebanon s forward Fadel Antar during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 group D football match between Egypt and Lebanon at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on December 1, 2021 (AFP)

The seven-time African champions needed a second-half penalty from Ahly playmaker Magdi Afsha to scrape an unconvincing victory.

They were guilty of spurning some clear-cut opportunities, with forward Mohamed Sherif heading wide from a good scoring position in the first half and substitute Ahmed Refaat firing straight at the keeper after breaking clear early in the second period.

"We were not lucky today; we wasted several chances in both halves. The result could have been bigger," Ahly's towering goalie El-Shennawi told beIN Sports in a pitch-side interview.

"But we still fulfilled our target. It was important to open our campaign with a victory."

Match winner Afsha said he was confident Egypt would improve in their next games after labouring for much of their contest with Lebanon.

"We will gardually get better in the tournament. We are taking it one step at a time; we are now focusing on the Sudan match," he said.

Egypt lie second in Group D with three points, behind Algeria on goal difference after the fellow North Africans crushed Sudan 4-0 earlier in the day. They next face Sudan on Saturday.

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