Greece's Dimitrios Pelkas, right, fight for the ball against Egypt's Marwan Mohsen, left, during the soccer friendly game Egypt against Greece at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich, Switzerland, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. EPA/ENNIO LEANZA
Tuesday Mar 27, 2018. 22:19
A much-changed Egypt put up an underwhelming display as they were beaten 1-0 by Greece in an international friendly at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich on Tuesday night.
Pharaohs manager Hector Cuper rung the changes following a 2-1 defeat to Portugal for his ‘A’ team on Friday night, leaving the likes of Mohamed Salah, Ahmed Hegazi, Abdallah Said and Ahmed Fathi out of the starting XI.
Egypt created the first chance as early as the sixth minute, with Ramadan Sobhi drawing the goalkeeper off his line before squaring the ball for Moemen Zakareya, who was denied by a fine recovery save from Andreas Gianniotis.
The Pharaohs looked the better side for the opening 20 minutes, but as the match wore on it was the team in blue who began to dominate on the slippery surface.
Striker Nikos Karelis was guilty of fluffing a free header from a corner kick, but but he made up for it in the 29th minute when he nodded home a perfectly-weighted cross from overlapping right-back Michalis Bakakis to make it 1-0 to the Greeks.
Egypt made two changes at the start of the second half, sending on Amr Warda and Hussein El Shahat for Zakareya and Mohamed Magdi, and they were soon forced into a third when Omar Gaber picked up an injury and was replaced by Ayman Ashraf.
Yet it was Greece who continued to dominate the game and Pharaohs goalkeeper Mohamed Awwad was called upon to make several saves to deny the likes of Tasos Bakasetas, Kostas Stafylidis and Alexandros Tziolis.
Egypt almost claimed an equaliser out of nowhere in the 69th minute when substitute Kahraba showed great skill to control a ball over the top of the defence, but was then unable to beat new goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas one-on-one.
The North Africans will resume their preparations for the 2018 World Cup when they face Kuwait in late May.
Greece (1) 1 (Karelis 29’)
Egypt: Awwad, Elmohamady, Gabr, Samir, Gaber (Ashraf 52’), Ashour (Said 64’), Elneny, Sobhi (Shikabala 79’), Magdi (El Shahat 46’), Zakareya (Warda 46’), Mohsen (Kahraba 65’)
Greece: Gianniotis (Barkas 46’), Bakakis (Torosidis 89’), Tzavellas, Papadopoulos, Stafylidis (Lykogiannis 71’), Tatchsidis (Kourbelis 74’), Tziolis, Lazaros (Gianniotas 64’), Pelkas, Donis (Bakasetas 46’), Karelis