Sunday Nov 19, 2023. 20:38
Egypt held off a spirited challenge from 10-man Sierra Leone to emerge 2-0 victors in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium on Sunday evening.
It wasn’t a convincing performance from Rui Vitoria’s side in tricky conditions in Paynesville, but they got the job done with a brace from Trezeguet to move onto six points at the top of Group A.
Sierra Leone were looking to frustrate Egypt like they did against Ethiopia in a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, while the North African giants hoped to come though this encounter unscathed on the rain-soaked artificial surface.
The visitors survived an early scare when Mohamed El Shenawy almost got chipped from midfield on the small pitch, but they hit the front on 18 minutes following a loose pass from the Leone Stars.
Mostafa Mohamed cleverly flicked the ball into the path of Trezeguet from Mohamed Salah’s pass and the Trabzonspor winger held off his marker inside the area to beat Ibrahim Sesay from 12 yards out.
The Pharaohs struggled to create many meaningful chances though, but they received a helping hand with the dismissal of Tyrese Fornah for a high boot on Hamdy Fathy in the 39th minute.
The hosts continued to make life uncomfortable for them despite being reduced to 10 men and El Shenawy was required to save a free-kick in the 55th minute after Fathy committed a foul in a dangerous position.
However, Egypt capitalised on another sloppy pass in midfield seven minutes later as Salah played in Trezeguet down the left channel and he advanced into the box before taking a shot that looped over Sesay into the back of the net via a wicked deflection off Abdul Kabia.
El Shenawy breathed a sigh of relief late on when Sierra Leone squandered three gilt-edged chances, two of them sitters in the same sequence of play but they somehow missed the target completely.
Sierra Leone 0
Egypt (1) 2 (Trezeguet 18′, 62′)
Sierra Leone: I. Sesay, O. Kakay, A. Kabia, M. Kabia, E. Samadia, Alusine Koroma (I. Sillah 67′), Alhassan Koroma (S. Bah 80′), A. Kargbo (A. Conteh 67′), T. Fornah, S. Kaikai (D. Kanu 58′), M. Turay (A. Bakayoko 80′).
Egypt: M. El Shenawy, M. Hany (O. Kamal 87′), M. Abdelmonem, A. Gabr, M. Hamdy, A. Sayed (M. Attia 69′), M. Elneny, H. Fathy (M. Hamada 69′), Trezeguet (M. Sherif 87′), M. Mohamed (O. Marmoush 79′), M. Salah.