CAIRO – Zimbabwe’s hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup all but ended as they fought to a brave 2-1 defeat to seven-time African soccer champions Egypt who maintained their perfect run in Group G.
Egypt who are battling to end a 24-year absence from the Fifa World Cup were left frustrated by a stubborn Zimbabwe who held their own to frustrate the hosts into a first half 0-0 draw. All this was to change in a drama filled second half.
In the 64th minute Hosni Abd-Rabou finally ended Zimbabwe’s resistance when his right-foot free kick sailed over the wall and into the net after striking the hand of Arubi, who was finally beaten after a heroic first half.
In the 75th minute Zimbabwe’s German based striker Knowledge Musona silenced the home crowd with a thunderous right-foot volley after holding off a challenge from central defender Mohamed Naguib to level the scores at 1-1.
The game changing moment came in the 87th minute when Mohamed Salah broke clear only to be fouled by Augustine Mbara. The referee immediately pointed to the spot. Mohamed Abou-Treika then converted the spot kick.
Zimbabwe Team: Washington Arubi, Patson Jaure, Ocean Mushure, Silas Songani, Abbas Amidu, Billiat Khama, Knowledge Musona, Denver Mukamba, Lincoln Zvasiya, Augustine Mbara, Archford Gutu.
Egypt Team: Abdel-Wahed El-Sayed, Ahmed Elmohamady, Mohamed Naguib, Wael Gomaa, Ahmed Shedid, Mohamed El-Neny, Hosni Abd-Rabou, Mohamed Abou-Treika, Mohamed Ibrahim, Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’.