Egypt brush aside Sudan in Nile battle

Defending champions Egypt continued their African Nations Cup title defence by beating neighbours Sudan 3-0 in Group C on Saturday.

Egypt top the group with six points from two matches while Cameroon moved into second spot after their 5-1 hammering of Zambia. Sudan are bottom of the standings with no points.

This though was not the command performance that overwhelmed the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Tuesday as Sudan showed they were not intimidated by the pedigree of the five-time champions.

“Sudan came out to win so that they could still be in with a chance in this competition. We did not control the game at the start but gradually dominated the midfield and this was what gave us our victory,” said Egypt star Hosny Abd Rabou.

Sudan striker Faisat Agab said: “We have learnt a lot from our two matches but will want to get something when we play against cameroon in our last game.”

Rabou, the two-goal hero in the 4-2 win over Cameroon, continued where he left off when he converted a 27th minute penalty after he was brought down by goalkeeper Mahgoub Elmuez.

Al-Ahly star Mohamed Aboutrika grabbed the second goal on 77 minutes before he added a third five minutes later when he ran into the box off another counter-attack and beat goalkeeper Elmuez by the near post.

Egypt were without influential skipper Ahmed Hassan even though he had completed a two-match ban while Sudan dropped leading scorer Agab to the bench.

Sudan threatened after four minutes when Haythem Tambal fired an angular shot which was dealt with by goalkeeper Esam el-Hadary at the near post.

Referee Coffi Codjia ignored calls by Egypt for a penalty after six minutes when Ritshard Jastein looked to have handled a long ball.

The Pharaohs would have gone ahead after 10 minutes but Mohamed Zidan failed to control the ball when clear on goal while, at the other end, Hadary was again called upon to make another save from a Sudan corner.

In the 18th minute, Mahmoud Fata Alla was booked for a foul on Tambal and from the resulting free kick skipper Mustapha Haytham produced a long-range sizzler which was smoothered by Hadary.

Sudan skipper Haythem, who had a quiet game against Zambia, was in his element as he moved from defence to attack with superb efficiency as the crowd at the Baba Yara Stadium shouted their support for the underdogs.

In the 27th minute, Egypt were in front.

Abd Rabou was brought down inside the area.
His first penalty kick was ruled out but he kept his cool to score at second attempt.

The stocky Said Moawad forced Elmuez to save soon after the interval when he dashed into the box and in the 54th minute Zidan tested the Al-Hilal keeper with a close-range shot.

Egypt stayed on the offensive but were denied more goals either by some stout defending by Sudan or poor finishing.

However, fit-again Aboutrika made sure of the three points in the 77th minute from a blistering break before he extended Egypt’s lead on 82 minutes. - AFP

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