CAIRO: Egypt reached the African Youth Championship after crushing Senegal 3-0 at home on Sunday in an ill-tempered clash that witnessed three red cards in the dying minutes.
The young Pharaohs overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit in the final round of the qualifiers after scoring three goals in the second half to reach next year’s African Championship in Libya.
An ugly brawl erupted few minutes before the end when three Senegal players carried Egypt’s Abdullah Abdul-Azim on their shoulders in an attempt to stop his alleged time wasting after he fell to the ground in apparent pain.
Players from both sides traded punches and kicks, prompting the referee to send off Egypt striker Amr Gamal and two visiting players.
Egypt were already two up when the fight began despite struggling to break down Senegal in the first half.
Arab Contractors defender Mohamed Al-Nenni broke the deadlock three minutes past the hour mark when he converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Zamalek’s promising midfielder Omar Gaber.
Fellow central defender Ahmed Hegazi put Egypt ahead in the aggregate score when he rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into they empty net after latching onto a deft pass from Mohamed Ibrahim.
Ahmed Salah completed the rout in the last minute when Senegal keeper fumbled his seemingly innocuous shot into the net.
Egypt youth team coach Mostafa Younes said he was likely to remain in his post despite speculation surrounding his future.
The Egyptian FA prohibits coaches of the national teams to work as TV presenters. Former Ahli player Younes is contracted to satellite channel Modern Sport.
"I don’t think that my work in media will affect my work with Egypt," he said following the game, which took place at Port Said Stadium before an enthusiastic crowd.
"But if I feel that I can’t handle both jobs, I will not leave Egypt’s youth team."
Egypt won the last of their two African Youth Championships in 2003 under current senior team manager Hassan Shehata.