Qatar - Dominant Egypt beat Lebanon for winning start at Ara...| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 27 January 2022 05:59 GMT

Qatar - Dominant Egypt beat Lebanon for winning start at Arab Cup

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) #Arab Cup 2021

Title-contenders Egypt displayed a commanding performance to beat Lebanon 1-0 in their opening match of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, yesterday.

The Pharaohs, clinching the victory through Mohamed Magdi's penalty kick in the 71st minute, were clearly the best among the two sides, confining Lebanon to their fences with their aggressive performance throughout the match.

For Lebanon, who were impressive during the Qatar 2022 qualifying against IR Iran and Korea Republic, it was a disappointing start as they struggled to control their North African rivals throughout the match.

With both the teams enjoying a good support from spectators at the Al Thumama Stadium, Egypt – coached by Carlos Queroz – played a free flowing football taking eight shots on target from their tally of 17 attempts in the match.

Lebanon coach Ivan Hasek will be hoping for improvement when his team faces favourites Algeria in their second match of Group D – dubbed the toughest group in the tournament – on December 4.

Yesterday's match started with a couple of stoppages soon after the kick off due to injuries to Egypt's Amr El Soulia and Lebanon's Kassem El Zein.

The match then picked pace with The Pharaohs started putting pressure on their opponents to gain early advantage as they were attacking at short intervals.

In the 13th minute, Al Ahly midfielder Mohamed Sherif came close to scoring twice but his touches went just over the woodwork.

Egypt were putting their best effort and an ambitious hit on target by a distance from Zamalek midfielder Mostafa Fathi was stopped by Lebanese goalkeeper Mostafa Matar.

Lebanon were facing an uphill task to control the Egyptians, who were outsmarting them with their pace and aggressive display keeping Matar busy.

In the 25th minute, the Lebanese goalkeeper had to make a diving save from an angular shot by El Soulia.

At the half-hour mark, Egypt already had nine attempts with four shots on target as they enjoyed around 75 percent of ball possession.

In 33rd minute, Lebanon's Felix Michel Melki cleared the ball in another dangerous attack after Matar missed a touch in a goalmouth melee.

Egypt missed another opportunity to score after Sherif's attempt sailed just over the crossbar following a fine assist by Magdi, three minutes before half-time.

Lebanon, who did not have a single shot on target, went to the dugout happy as they didn't concede a single goal from over a dozen attacks from The Pharaohs in the first session. 

Queroz's side started the second half with the same approach with El Soulia launching a strike but Matar was better placed to stop the ball.

Lebanon started to counter their raging rivals and made a couple of attacks, though they did not pose much of a threat to the Egyptians.

However, in yet another threatening attack by Egypt, substitute Ahmed Refaat's touch from near the penalty spot was well saved by Matar in the 55th minute. 

Looking to break the deadlock, Queroz sent in Zizo in 65th minute while calling back Marwan Hamdy.

The Pharaohs finally got the breakthrough when Alexander Michel fouled Ahmed El Fotouh, who was sprinting towards the goal in 69th minute.

Magdi took a brilliant strike, beating Matar on his right corner to take Egypt ahead.

After taking the lead, Egypt slowed down while Lebanon attempted for an equaliser through Kassem El Zein, whose header just missed the target in second minute of stoppage time.

Egypt will next play Sudan on December 4 at the Stadium 974.


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