Salah-Less Egypt Begin AFCON Prep With Victory
Result: Egypt 1-0 Tanzania
Date: 13 June 2019
Venue: Borg El Arab Stadium
Egypt began their 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations preparations with a narrow victory over Tanzania on Thursday night.
The Pharaohs, whose 23-man squad is dominated by locally based players, took to the field without their talisman, Mohamed Salah who only arrived in camp on Wednesday after being given an extended holiday following Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League triumph.
On the other hand, the Taifa Stars became the first country to arrive in Egypt in preparation for the tournament against the host country. Coach Emmanuel Amuneke has also submitted his 23-man squad for tournament that included Egyptian Premier League duo of Himid Mao and Yahya Zayd.
Egypt had the upper hand in the opening exchanges with Greece-based forward Amr Warda getting the first shot in anger after ten minutes although he could not find the target.
Despite a promising half-an-hour the sides were not able to create clear openings towards the end of the first stanza, with the first period ending without goals as a result.
The Pharaohs settled the quickest in the second stanza and nearly broke the deadlock five minutes after the break through Abdallah El Said, but the Pyramids FC midfielder could not find the target.
Despite numerous substitutions taking place towards the hour-mark from Egypt, the hosts managed to find the breakthrough in the 64th minute courtesy of veteran right-back Ahmed El Mohamady, who nodded home from close range.
Aguirre’s troops were dictating terms after finding the breakthrough but the flow of game was interrupted by another batch of substitutions in the last ten minutes and Egypt ultimately held on for the won.
The 2019 AFCON hosts will play Guinea in their next and last warm-up game on Sunday, 16 June before they open their campaign against Zimbabwe on 21 June on home soil.
Tanzania, meanwhile, will take on Zimbabwe on Sunday June which will be their last preparatory game before facing Senegal in their Group C opener on 23 June.