Sunday, 31 March 2013


Egypt won their fourth CAF U-20 Championship title on Saturday after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Ghana in the final played at Ahmed Zabana stadium in Oran on Saturday. The two sides had played a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
Converting penalties for Egypt were Saleh Gomaa, Ahmed Samir, Ahmed ElSayed, Mahmoud Monem and Hossam Mohamed while Ramy Rabie missed and for Ghana were Richmond Nketiah, Jeremiah Arkorful, Lawrence Lartey, Ebenezer Ofori while Attama Joseph and Moses Odjer missed.

The 12th Orange CAF Youth Championship final opened with two early goals, the first coming after only three minutes when Ghanaian defender Richmond Nketiah brought down left winger Mahmoud Monem in the box. Up stepped Saleh Gomaa to convert the spot kick and the Young Pharaohs went in front. Two minutes later at the other end Ahmed Samir went for a kick clearance and fouled Moses Odjer who was first to the ball with his head resulting in the second penalty of the game. Jeremiah Arkorful sent keeper Mossad Awad the wrong way and with 7 minutes on the clock it was 1-1.

The quick goals seemed to have helped the two sides settled down into the game and flowing passing football befitting a final was soon on show. Ghana were productive attacking from the right flank where Nketiah, Odjer and Ebenezer Assifuah were combining well. Egypt on the other hand were channeling the bulk of the play via the left wing looking to use Monem who was a constant threat to the Ghanaian defenders with his silky skills each time he was on the ball. The game brought out some interesting tassels in the midfield as Gomaa, Hossam Mohamed and Mahmoud Ahmed for the Egyptians wrestled with Clifford Aboagye, Ebenezer Ofori and Salifu Seidu in a bid to control and influence the game. 

On 30th minute Arkorful almost doubled the Black Satellites’ score with a delightful free-kick that cannoned off the cross bar and bounced back into play to be cleared by the Egyptians. The first half ended 1-1 and the game maintained its tempo upon resumption. The evenly balanced contest continued with action swing from one end to the other much to the delight of a good appreciative crowd that came to Ahmed Zabana stadium.   

Nketiah was in the mood to shoot and on 60th minute he warmed Awad ‘s palms with a rasping shot and not long after Arkorful saw his free-kick sail centimeters wide as Ghana accumulated a few free kick around the edge of the Egyptian box. Egypt’s response was swift, captain Ramy Rabia started a run from half-way and found Omar Bassam with a pass but his progress towards goal was well checked by outstanding Ghanaian captain Lawrence Lartey who was at the hearty of most of his side’s fine defending.

Going into the last fifteen minutes it was Ghana who close to adding to the score line and a combination of keeper Awad’s reflexes and solid defending from Mahmoud Elmetwaly and Yasser Ahmed kept the Satellites at bay. Some substitutions revived Egypt’s attacking play in particular the contribution of pacey substitute Ahmed ElSayed. The last five minutes both sides seemed resigned to play extra time, as they pass the ball round not too keen to concede at this late stage.Extra time could not separate the sides and it was left to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner.

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