Africa's Katlego Mphela scores past Essam El-Hadary (Photo: Reuters)
Al-Merreikh coach Hossam El-Badry has praised his goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary and pointed the finger of blame at Egypt’s backline for the 1-0 defeat to South Africa in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers on Saturday.
“El-Hadary was the man of the match. He protected Egypt’s net from many dangerous shots,” former Ahly coach El-Badry, who was reunited with El-Hadary at Al-Merreikh, was quoted as saying by Sudanese newspaper Al-Sadda.
Bafana Bafana stunned the Pharaohs with Katlego Mphela’s killer blow in the final minute of stoppage time. Mphela outpaced his marker Wael Gomaa to latch onto a through pass and fire a powerful low shot into the bottom corner.
El-Badry said that the defeat will not affect El-Hadary’s confidence, asserting that he is an experienced footballer who can quickly pick himself up.
El-Hadary was hardly tested in Saturday’s match, making only a couple of saves in the second half.
The veteran keeper joined El-Badry at Al-Merreikh in the January transfer window after ending a brief and unsuccessful spell at Cairo giants Zamalek.