Hegazy rescues Egypt after Gomaa blunder

04 June 2013 06:46

Egypt centre-backs Wael Gomaa and Ahmed Hegazy played significant roles in a 1-1 World Cup warm-up draw with Botswana on Tuesday.

A blunder by Gomaa, 37, gifted the visitors a fifth-minute lead in the international friendly held behind closed doors at the Cairo Air Defence Stadium.

Gomaa from seven-time African club champions Al-Ahly under-hit a back pass to goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami with disastrous consequences.

Democratic Republic of Congo-based striker Jerome Ramatlhakwane chased after the ball and his shot went into the net off Ekrami.

Botswana, ranked 21 places below Egypt in Africa, retained the lead until Hegazy used his height to good advantage on 37 minutes.

Ahmed Hamoudi crossed from the right and a couple of slow-reacting defenders allowed the Egyptian to head down past Kabelo Dambe.

It was a fitting reward for the towering Fiorentina defender, who posed an aerial threat every time he came forward in perfect conditions.

Egypt coach Bob Bradley rung the changes at half-time and one of those introduced, midfielder Ahmed Eid, almost scored within three minutes.

His low shot from outside the box eluded Dambe, who plays for South African league runners-up Platinum Stars, only to rebound off the post.

The second half was similar to the first with the Pharaohs camped in Botswana territory and bossing possession, but rarely posing a serious threat.

Botswana host Ethiopia on Saturday in a World Cup Group A qualifying fixture and Egypt are away to Zimbabwe in Group G 24 hours later.

Spectators are barred from attending local and international football fixtures in Egypt amid post-Arab Spring security tensions.

Source: AFP