Wednesday 26 July 2017

Hassan stars as Egypt fight back to sink Nigeria

Egypt 3
Nigeria 1

Gordon Tynan

EGYPT MADE a winning start to the defence of their African Nations Cup crown with an impressive fightback against Nigeria in Group C.

The holders went behind when Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke fired home against the run of play.

Egypt equalised through Emad Moteab, however, before Ahmed Hassan's deflected effort put Hassan Shehata's side ahead, and substitute Mohamed Gedo grabbed a late third.

Egypt started brightly but they were stunned in the 12th minute, when Obasi was allowed to cut inside and force his way to the edge of the area. With the Egyptian defenders backing off, Obasi rifled a left-footed shot beyond Essam El Hadary.

Ayegbeni Yakubu appealed in vain for a penalty after seeing a cross blocked by an unwitting Egyptian arm.

Egypt, though, composed themselves and equalised in the 35th minute. Moteab caught Joseph Yobo napping from Hassan's ball and stayed onside, evading the onrushing goalkeeper to calmly slot home.

Hassan then put Egypt ahead in the 54th minute. Zidan held the ball up expertly before laying it back to his captain, whose powerful effort deflected off Taye Taiwo's backside and into the net.

Gedo sealed the points when he broke clear and rifled in a low shot three minutes from time.

Meanwhile, Barcelona and Mali midfielder Seydou Keita believes the African Nations Cup should have been cancelled following the attack on the Togo team bus that left three people dead.

"If only the competition had been cancelled," he said. "You can't leave home to die. I am scared because I don't know this country.

"After seeing what happened to Togo, I am scared. You don't know when a problem could happen again. My only worry is returning home." (© Independent News Service)

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