The wait has to be extended to at least 28 years. Egypt played really well, but the first leg result proved too much as the Black Stars booked their ticket to next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Egypt XI (4-2-3-1): Sherif Ekramy; Hazem Emam, Rami Rabia, Mohamed Naguib, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy; Hossam Ghaly (c), Ahmed Fathi; Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Abou-Treika, Mahmoud Kahraba; Amr Zaki.
Bob Bradley made five changes to the team that got ransacked last time out. Amr Zaki, Hazem Emam, Rami Rabia, Mahmoud Kahraba and Mohamed Abdel-Shafy all started. These changes left no place for Walid Soliman, Ahmed Shedid, Mohamed El-Nenny, Hossam Ashour, and more surprisingly, Wael Gomaa.
Brazil XI (4-4-1-1): Fatau Dauda; Harrison Afful, Jerry Akaminko, Rashid Sumaila, Daniel Opare; Michael Essien, Andre Ayew, Sulley Muntari, Kwadwo Asamoah; Asamoah Gyan (c); Abdul Majeed Waris.
As for Appiah, he made one change, Esperance fullback Afful came in for Samuel Inkoom. Kevin-Prince Boateng was on the bench.
The game started off well for Egypt, the Pharaohs were real lively; their intentions were made clear. In the 25th minute Amr Zaki brought back the good old days with a goal. The Pharaohs kept pressing, but Ghana contained them well.
Former Wigan man Zaki also had an excellent shot from range acrobatically saved by Dauda less than 10 minutes later. Just before half-time there was an excellent one-two played between right-back Hazem Emam, who was a threat throughout the match, and Mohamed Salah, but the former’s shot was smartly saved by the Ghanaian keeper.
Half time score 1-0.
Egypt continued from where they left off in the first half. Bradley’s men kept pressing really well. After a series of missed chances, one that included Salah’s shot which was cleared off the line, Egypt finally doubled their lead in the 84th minute. Ghana defenders failed to hold a line, and Gedo finished superbly making it 2-0, a little too late.
In the 89th minute Ghana booked their ticket to Brazil. Second-half substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng finished really well to ensure that the Black Stars will be appearing in their third successive World Cup.
Shikabala, who came on for Zaki, had a late chance to restore Egypt’s two-goal lead just before the final whistle after being played-in by Salah, but the Zamalek icon skied it from close range.