In a crucial showdown for African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification, Egypt exacted revenge on Ethiopia with a hard-fought 1-0 victory. The showdown took place at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo during the sixth and final round of AFCON qualifiers, setting the stage for Côte d’Ivoire.
Mostafa Fathy’s Decisive Strike
The lone goal of the match was netted by Egypt’s Mostafa Fathy in the 37th minute. This victory allowed Egypt to make amends for its earlier loss to Ethiopia in the second round of qualifiers, where they fell 0-2.
Pharaohs Clinch Top Spot
With this win, Egypt soared to the top of Group Four with 15 points, securing their place in the upcoming AFCON tournament. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s tally remained at 4 points, leaving them in the last position in the group.
Egypt’s Performance Analysis
Despite the victory, the Egyptian team’s performance fell short of expectations, characterized by a lackluster display. However, Mostafa Fathi of Pyramids emerged as a standout player, posing a continuous threat to Ethiopia’s goal with his distinctive touches.
The Pharaohs’ initial attempts were thwarted, including a fast cross sent by Mohamed Hamdy, which the Ethiopian defense successfully cleared. Mohamed Abdel Moneim came close to scoring with a header, but Ethiopian goalkeeper Habatomo made a brilliant block.
Egypt finally broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when Mostafa Fathi capitalized on Omar Marmoush’s shot, which was initially blocked by the goalkeeper.
Hamdi Fathi’s goal, scored from a header, was disallowed due to a foul on an Egyptian midfielder.
In the second half, Mostafa Mohamed, Egypt’s striker, appealed for a penalty kick following a one-on-one collision with the goalkeeper. However, the referee ruled no violation had occurred.
Ethiopia had its chances too, with a missed attempt by Beckley near the post, before Egypt’s goalkeeper Al-Shennawy safely secured a fast cross.
Egypt faced an injury setback when Mohamed Hamdi, the left back, got injured, prompting Ahmed Fattouh to replace him.
The referee disallowed a goal from Egypt’s substitute, Sam Morsi, due to an infringement against an Ethiopian defender. Ultimately, the match concluded with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.
This win not only secured Egypt’s qualification for AFCON but also provided them with a sense of redemption against Ethiopia, a significant moment for Egyptian football fans.