Egypt win thriller to lift World Cup hopes

Egypt win thriller to lift World Cup hopes

photo_1339360553279-1-2-Quicklook.jpgLibyan striker Ahmed Zuway (R) vies with Cameroon’s defender Georges Mandjek (L)
AFP – Fethi Belaid

Egypt edged 10-man Guinea 3-2 Sunday in a Conakry thriller to boost hopes of returning to the World Cup in 2014 after a 24-year absence.

Guinea led at half-time, had goalkeeper Naby Yattara red carded at 1-1, trailed and equalised before Mohamed Salah stunned the capacity 35,000 crowd at Stade du 28 Septembre with a late winner in the second round qualifier.

Veteran midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika scored twice within 10 minutes during the second half after Aboul Camara had given Guinea the lead and Alhassane Bangoura netted on 88 minutes to temporarily bring the teams level.

The Pharaohs and the National Elephant look the strongest teams in a Group G completed by Mozambique and Zimbabwe, who played a scoreless draw at Estadio do Zimpeto in Maputo four hours earlier.

Egypt have six points from two games, Guinea three and Zimbabwe and Mozambique one each and the North African team coached by American Bob Bradley hold the vital advantage of having played their most powerful foe away.

Although Egypt have lifted the Africa Cup of Nations a record seven times, they have qualified for the World Cup only twice — in 1934 and 1990 — and Bradley has repeatedly said that reaching Brazil is his primary objective.

Cameroon, whose six World Cup appearances is a record for an African country, suffered a dramatic 2-1 loss in Group I against Libya, who were forced to play in Tunisian city Sfax because of security instability at home.

Ahmed Zouay gave the Mediterranean Knights a quick lead at Taieb Mhiri Stadium, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting levelled and the winner came in the final minute when Mohamed Esnany nodded a corner past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.

Defeat was a bitter pill for under-pressure Indomitable Lions coach Denis Lavagne to swallow as his team recovered from a sluggish start to dominate the second half but squander chances.

Democratic Republic of Congo climbed above Cameroon on goal difference into second place behind Libya after a 2-0 win over Togo in Kinshasa despite playing more than half the game a man short because Albert Mutamba was sent off.

Congolese talisman Tresor Mputu scored midway through the opening half and Belgium-based midfielder Dieumerci Mbokani capped his return after a self-imposed 14-month exile by converting a late penalty.

Mali overcame the disadvantage of having to play a ‘home’ game against Algeria in Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou because of post-coup security concerns by winning 2-1 after falling behind just seven minutes into the first half.

Islam Slimani put the Desert Foxes ahead as they sought to build on a four-goal spanking dished out to Rwanda last weekend, but Mahamodou Ndiaye levelled on the half-hour mark and Modibo Maiga grabbed the winner eight minutes from time.

Liberia and Angola created few scoring chances during a drab 0-0 draw in Monrovia that benefited Senegal most as they lead Group J by two points after holding Uganda 1-1 in Kampala 24 hours before.


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