09 September 2018 02:18
Egypt returned to winning ways on Saturday when they thrashed visitors Niger 6-0 at the Alexandria based Borg El Arab stadium. The Pharaohs recorded their first Group J victory to raise their tally to three points from two games.
The Pharaohs scored three in each half against their hapless visitors. Liverpool winger and African Player of the Year Mohamed Salah saw Niger goalkeeper Daouda Kassali denying him from the spot twice, but made amends scoring a brace himself. Ahly trio Marawan Mohsen, Ayman Ashraf and Salah Mohsen were among the scorers, while Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elnenny put the last cherry on the cake in the added time.
It was Egypt's first game under new coach Javier Aguirre, and the Mexican tactician had the best of debuts. Opting for new players in the starting lineup like Canada based Ali Ghazal and Ismaily defender Baher Elmohamady, Aguirre deployed an attacking strategy from the kickoff.
Egypt was awarded a penalty on the very first minute when Salah was fouled inside the vital area, but Liverpool's superstar saw his effort from the spot denied by Kassali. Salah should have opened the score eight minutes later but his header went just wide.
And it was Marawan Mohsen who broke the deadlock after 12 minutes. The Ahly striker received Salah's pass and scored calmly past Kassali. Turkey based Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan missed a sitter six minutes later with Kassali just to beat, but his shot went inches wide.
After 20 minutes Ashraf doubled Egypt's lead, making use of a Niger's defensive error. Shortly afterwards Egypt had another penalty awarded when Trezeguet was fouled on his way to score. Salah elected himself to shoot and again he found Kassali stopping his effort, but this time he followed the rebound ball to make it 3-0 before the break.
Niger returned stronger in the second half, and Oussmane Diabate tested Egypt's keeper Mohamed ElShennawy twice, but the later was alert enough to deny the visitors from scoring.
Substitute Salah Mohsen who had his debut with The Pharaohs celebrated by scoring Egypt fourth after 72 minutes, when he was set by Salah to send a direct shot past Kassali.
Salah completed his brace scoring Egypt fifth with a fine header four minutes from time from skipper Ahmed Elmohamady's cross. And it was Elnenny who had the last word deep into the injury time, firing an unstoppable shot to give The Pharaohs an astounding 6-0 win.
Swaziland entertain Tunisia in the other Group J game on Sunday.