Egypt beats Togo to go top, Sierra Leone holds Nigeria again

TOG EGY

Egypt completed the double over Togo beating them 3-1 in Lome on Tuesday, to join Comoros on top of Group G with eight points each.

Mohamed “Afsha” Magdy and Mohamed Sherif scored in the opening half, while Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan scored after the break. Yayra Josue scored a consolation for Togo two minutes into stoppage time as The Pharaohs made it two win in 72 hours over Togo, having won 1-0 in Cairo last Saturday.

Egypt coach Hossam El Badry made 7 changes from the lineup that started last Saturday game in Cairo, with midfielder Mohamed Elneny absent because of contracting COVID-19.

Togo had the first chance after 10 minutes. Kodjo Laba rounded Egypt skipper Ahmed Hegazy to go one on one with Mohamed Elshennawy but his shot missed the target narrowly. Two minutes later Gilles Sunu tried his luck with a header that went over.

Hegazy could have scored against his own team but for Elshennawy who saved his miscued header at the quarter hour mark.

But it was the visitors who took the lead after 18 minutes. Togo’s defense clearance found Afsha who quietly controlled the ball and scored past Malcom Danjuma to make it 1-0 to Egypt.

Elshennawy was there once again to save The Pharaohs when he stood tall to deny Sunu’s header from Matthew Dossevi cross.

Elshennawy turned from a goalkeeper to playmaker, when his long pass from Egypt’s penalty area found Mohamed Sherif at the other side of the pitch to quietly double the visitors’ lead after 34 minutes.

Togo returned stronger and could have reduced the deficit three minutes after the break when Dossevi’s first time shot just went wide.

And it was soon 3-0 for the visitors. Another long pass behind Togo’s defense, this time from left back Ayman Ashraf found Trezeguet who buried the ball behind Danjuma with Egypt cruising to an away victory.

Elshennawy completed his heroics, stopping Kodjo Laba once again after 63 minutes. His crossbar was there to the rescue five minutes from time when Mahmoud Hamdy, who scored the first leg winner, could have scored in his own net this time.

And deep into injury time, defender Yayra Josue followed a rebound ball after a corner kick to score a consolation goal for the hosts.

SLE NGA

Sierra Leone 0-0 Nigeria

In Freetown, Sierra Leone and Nigeria had another draw after last weekend’s thrilling 4-4 one in Benin City, but this time in a much less exciting manner.

Kelechi Iheanacho was the first to ask questions after eight minutes, but his effort was saved by Sierra Leone goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara.

Samuel Chukwueze tried his luck at the quarter hour mark, only to see his ball kissing the upright.

The hosts had their glimpse at Nigeria’s goalkeeper Okoye Oduka after 21 minutes through Kei Kamara, but Oduka was up to the challenge.

Alhaji Kamara could have given the hosts the lead just before halftime, but Okoye came to Nigeria’s rescue as the first half ended goalless.

Six minutes after the break, Chukwueze found Iheanacho whose shot went over. Iheanacho though he gave Nigeria the lead at the hour mark, but his goal was ruled offside.

Iheanacho was always the man behind the Super Eagles’ danger, and eight minutes from time his effort from close range was saved by Kamara.

Nigeria raised their tally to eight points, one more than second placed Benin. Sierra Leone (3) and Lesotho (2) follow in that order.

Photo@ NGSuperEagles