Egypt stun Belgium with 2-1 friendly win in Kuwait

Hatem Maher , Friday 18 Nov 2022

Two goals from Mostafa Mohamed and Mahmoud Trezeguet gave Egypt a stunning 2-1 victory over Belgium, the world's second-ranked team, in a friendly game played in Kuwait on Friday.

Egypt v Belgium
Egypt s forward Mohamed Salah (L) and Belgium s midfielder Yannick Carrasco vie for the ball during the friendly football match between Belgium and Egypt at the Jaber Al-Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City on November 18, 2022 (AFP)


Egypt produced a near flawless display to down the European heavyweights, whose form will be alarming before they open their World Cup campaign against Canada on Wednesday.

The Pharaohs, who missed out on a World Cup place following a bitter shootout defeat by Senegal in a two-legged qualifying playoff last March, looked composed throughout, keeping the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne shackled for much of the game.

They relied on some neatly-worked breakaways to threaten Belgium, who struggled for openings apart from a brief period of pressure early on.

Egypt gave new Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria his third victory from as many games after friendly wins over Niger and Liberia earlier this year.

Neat game-plan

Belgium had the upper hand in the early stages, with Yannick Carrasco combining well with Eden Hazard down the left to unsettle Egypt's defence.

They could have opened the scoring after 10 minutes when lone striker Michy Batshuayi was found by a defence-splitting pass that beat the offside trap but his shot on the turn struck the upright from close range.

Egypt quickly redeemed themselves, taking the wind out of Belgium's sails with a neat game-plan.

Trabzonspor winger Trezeguet went close twice as Egypt carved out spaces in the final third.

He had a far-post volley smothered by Thibaut Courtois following a cross from Mohamed Salah before wasting Egypt's best chance when he was released by a deft pass from Mohamed Elneny, only to shoot straight at the Real Madrid keeper from a tight angle.

The breakthrough came on 33 minutes, thanks to a mistake from De Bruyne.

The Manchester City midfielder failed to control a pass from Zeno Debast and Nantes striker Mostafa Mohamed pounced on the error to nutmeg him and place a delightful right-foot shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Trezeguet doubled Egypt's lead just a minute into the second half when he outpaced Timothy Castagne following a long pass from Salah to break clear and beat Courtois with a precise finish.

The seven-time African champions then sat back to protect their two-goal advantage, restricting Belgium to some tame efforts.

However, they were unlucky to concede a goal in the 76th minute when central defender Ali Gabr, who was later replaced, was receiving treatment after picking up an injury.

The gap he left was exposed as Carrasco sent in a low cross for substitute Lois Openda to fire home from close range.

But that was as good as it good for Belgium, with Egypt standing firm to claim a famous win over their illustrious opponents.   

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