Egypt U-20 team beat rivals Algeria to qualify for World Cup

Hatem Maher, Tuesday 19 Mar 2013

Egypt's U-20 team book a semi-final spot at the African Championship to qualify for the World Cup for the third consecutive time

A first-half goal from midfielder Rami Rabeia earned Egypt's U-20 side a 1-0 victory over bitter rivals and African Championship hosts Algeria as the young Pharaohs reached the World Cup on Tuesday.

The Ahly man headed home shortly before half-time as Egypt made it two wins out of two to top Group A with maximum six points and ensure their progress to the World Cup, which will take place in Turkey in the summer.

Egypt, who were knocked out of the World Cup at the last-16 stage in 2009 and 2011, finished with ten men after Mahmoud Hammad was sent off in a tense stoppage time for a second bookable offense.

Ghana, who beat Benin 1-0 earlier in the day, lie second in the group with three points. Algeria and Benin have one point apiece.

The semi-finalists in Groups A and B will qualify for the World Cup.

Chances were few and far between in a cautious first half where neither side was able to create genuine goal-scoring opportunities.

Algeria were roared on by a passionate crowd, who whistled Egypt's national anthem few minutes before kick-off.

However, a clinical Egypt pounced on a rare chance to score the decisive goal three minutes before the break when Rabeia powered home a header following a pinpoint cross from the left.

Algeria had the better possession in the second half but struggled to break down a resolute Egypt side. They were only restricted to some tame efforts that did not trouble the keeper.

Egypt could have also added the second in the dying minutes following two breakaway efforts but Algeria's keeper rushed out in a timely manner to thwart midfielders Ahmed Samir and Saleh Gomaa.

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