Egypt midfielder Mahmoud Trezeguet celebrates after scoring against Sierra Leone. Photo: Egypt team X account.
Recalled to the starting lineup, the Trabzonspor winger vindicated coach Rui Vitoria's confidence, striking in the 18th minute and then sealing the victory in the 62nd minute.
Sierra Leone finished the match with just nine players on the field, as Tyrese Fornah and Abdul Kabia received red cards.
Egypt sit atop Group A with an impeccable six points from two games, leading ahead of Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, and Ethiopia, each having amassed only one point after one game.
Vitoria implemented five changes to his lineup from the squad that overwhelmed Djibouti 6-0 just three days earlier.
The hosts initially pressed forward, yet failed to pose any significant threat to Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawy.
The Pharaohs found their rhythm, and following several attempts from Mostafa Mohamed and Ahmed “Zizo” El Sayed, secured the lead through a well-crafted play involving Mohamed Salah, who linked up with Mohamed to set up Trezeguet for a close-range strike in the 18th minute.
Despite Sierra Leone’s efforts to retaliate, their situation worsened when Forsah was ejected in the 37th minute after a reckless challenge on Hamdi Fathy.
The seven-time African champions further solidified their dominance, with Trezeguet capitalizing on ample space in the opposition's defense, converting a splendid through ball from Salah into a goal from inside the box in the 62nd minute.
Mohamed Hamdi seemingly added a third goal twenty minutes later, but the referee ruled it offside. Despite TV replays showing the player was onside, the absence of VAR prevented validation.
Sierra Leone intensified their offensive in the final minutes, yet El Shennawy's exceptional saves ensured a clean sheet.
In injury time, Kabia received his second yellow card, reducing Sierra Leone to nine men.
Egypt is set to resume its qualifiers campaign on 3 June 2024 against Burkina Faso.
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