The Egyptian national football team defeated its Guinean counterpart 4-2, in the sixth and last game of the Second Round in The African 2014 World Cup Qualifiers. The game was held in El-Gouna stadium in Hurghada on Tuesday afternoon. Egypt had already guaranteed its qualification to the final round before the game.
The game marked playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika’s 100th game with the Egyptian jersey, a milestone he celebrated perfectly.
The game began with a surprise when Egypt’s defender Adam El-Abd scored an own goal for the Guinean side in the fourth minute. The goal showed miscommunication between El-Abd and the Egyptian goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy.
Central Midfielder Hossam Ghaly drew level for Egypt in the 38th minute. A cross from Aboutrika was met by an inaccurate header by the Guinean defender, only to be met by a deftly executed finish by Ghaly.
Guinea captain Kamil Zayatte was sent off in the 48th minute for blocking Mohamed Naguib’s goal-wards shot with his arm. Aboutrika successfully scored from the spot in the 50th minute.
A mistimed tackle from UK-born El-Abd allowed Guinea midfielder Seydouba Soumah to slot in Guinea’s second goal from a counter attack in the 57th minute, with the “National Elephant” (Guinea’s national team nickname) tying up the match.
The game was heading into a draw until Aboutrika received Ahmed Fathi’s pass outside the penalty area, beautifully back-healing the ball to Mohamed Salah who went round the Guinean goalkeeper and scored Egypt’s third goal. The goal meant that Salah, who plays for Swiss side Basel FC, is the qualifiers best goal-scorer, netting six goals in six qualifying games.
Striker Amr Zaki celebrated his return to the Egyptian team by scoring in 87th minute. The striker, nicknamed “the Bulldozer”, received Aboutrika’s assist gratefully and netted the team’s fourth goal. This is Zaki’s first goal for the national team since scoring against Algeria in 14 November 2009.
The win meant that Egypt won all its qualifying games, earning 18 points out of six games, the record that is unmatched worldwide in the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
The final round of the qualifiers will see a second-seeded Egypt play a home-and-away fixture against one of the first seeded teams; Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Algeria or Cape Verde.
Egypt has qualified for the World Cup only two times: in 1934 and 1990.