AFCON: Salah fails to score as Pharaohs scrape through casual Zimbabwe

By Robert Abong'o: Saturday, June 22nd 2019 at 01:24 GMT +3 | Football
Egypt players celebrate Mahmoud Trezeguet's goal against Zimbabwe in the AFCON 2019 of Friday, June 21 [PHOTO: REUTERS] 

Egyptian football sensation Mohamed Salah stole the headlines as the Pharaohs faced Zimbabwe in the Africa Cup of Nations opening match in Friday, June 21 at the Cairo International Stadium.

A cagey first half saw the hosts create three significant chances in the space of 20 minutes, with the Warriors sitting back and waiting to counter through Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona.

The Egyptians boasted 60 per cent ball possession, restricting Zimbabwe to their own half.

Mohamed Salah was a marked man throughout the match but could have scored twice [PHOTO: REUTERS]

After the half-hour mark, the team in the dazzling yellow strip took off the stage-fright cloak, taking the game to Javier Aguirre’s men, who despite almost bowing to pressure, managed to catch the Warriors’ defence off-guard, 24-year-old Mahmoud Trezeguet slaloming his to slot home the only goal of the game in the 41st minute.

After the break, it was Zimbabwe who came out strong, testing Mohamed El-Shenawy at the Egyptian post.

Zimbabwe goalkeeper Edmond Sibanda had to be taken off in the 80th minute after an injury and was replaced by Elvis Chipezeze.

To get the latest soccer news, text 'SPORTS' to 22840.

Liverpool talisman Mo Salah will have a night to forget, having missed a glorious opportunity to score late in the game, slotting the past the goalkeeper only to see the ball flash wide.

Egypt players celebrate with fans after winning [Courtesy]

The Pharaohs now lead Group A with 3 points. Zimbabwe fall to last place.

For More of This and Other Sports Stories Subscribe to the Standard Epaper