The Pharaohs were looking down on North Africa’s Egypt as they left it late to beat a well-organized Ugandan Team by a goal to nil.
Uganda gave everything and were strong and well disciplined at the back but didn’t carry too much bite going forward. The Egypt team looked fairly nervous throughout and relied a lot on playmaker star Salah at every opportunity.
The ex Chelsea man is taking his time to get into this competition and you feel Egypt will turn a corner and progress as long as Salah leads them to it. Their other hope is Trezeguet out on the left wing who when not falling over like a pantomime dame looks like a really decent player.
Egypt left it late against a Ugandan side that reminded me so much of the Republic of Ireland teams of old, i.e. soak up all the pressure and play on the counter attack and set pieces and they looked destined for their second draw of the competition following their first game o-o draw but it was not to be as Egypt left it late, very late.
Substitute El-Said scored a great goal in the 90th minute that nestled between Onyango the Ugandan goalkeepers legs and into the back of the net following some good work on the left, Salah picked the ball up and gently rolled a perfectly paced pass out to El-Said who gratefully accepted the offer and needed no second asking to bury the spherical object of desire into Ugandan territory. Ugandan hearts were broken while Egypt were in ecstasy.
Uganda had hit the back of the net in the 52nd minute but it was correctly ruled as offside.
Ramadan had plenty of time when he shot high over the bar in the 56th minute for the Egypt team and before that veteran record breaking goalkeeper El Hadary punched away a heavy cross with the agility of a kitten falling off a wardrobe. The 43 year old who came on as a sub in the opening game and still wants to play in the World Cup for Egypt hasn’t let a goal in yet in this tournament for the Egyptians and played well enough without really having to over exert himself. This probably said more about Uganda’s attacking options than it says about El Hadary. Still he did everything that was called of him and that’s what wins matches.
Players on both teams were afraid to make mistakes and there weren’t that many shots due no doubt to the diabolical state of the pitch that was reminiscent of Yoevil Town’s old ground in their Cup runs of the 70’s and 80’s. It really was/is that bad. There are lumps everywhere. Sand sprinkled seemingly at random. How did it ever get to that state at the Stade de Port-Gentil stadium I will never know? Sack the groundsman.
Trezeguet had a good chance after 68 minutes, he hit a shot that fiercely ricochet off the defender and managed to get a second shot in that was saved by the keeper going to his right.
In the 79th Egypt who were largely dominating the game by this stage saw a weak shot by Marawan and on the replays it can be seen why as half the pitch rose and relocated itself as he went to shoot and the ball tamely went nowhere. Blame the pitch not the player.
Egypt go onto their third match on four points and with this game took a huge stride towards qualification for the second round. It’s over for Uganda unfortunately; a hefty win in their last game gives them nothing but pride as they are out. The problem is, who is going to score the goals for Uganda to bring back some pride?
Avram Grant’s Ghana Qualify With Victory Over Mali
Ex Chelsea boss Avram Grant the man who does wonders for teams and then they replace him believes Ghana will still look for a new manager despite Ghana qualifying for the second round with a game in hand following victory over Mali
Their 1-0 win follows their first match win by a similar score and that’s a maximum 6 points out of 6. Gyan scored the only goal of the match in the 21st minute, the guy is having a good tournament and looks dangerous, he also got himself booked but we’re not all perfect.
Gyan diverted the ball past the keepers right into the net following a neat double one two and a shot from the edge of the penalty area. I guess that makes the build up play a one two three four. Great goal nonetheless.