MALI HOLD FAVOURED EGYPT TO GOALLESS DRAW IN AFCON 2017 GROUP D MATCH

PORT GENTIL, GABON, Egyptian veteran goalkeeper Essam El Hadary wrote a new chapter in African football history when he became the oldest player to ever take part in the African Cup of Nations, but he was not able to celebrate as the favoured Pharaohs were held to a goalless draw by a determined Mali side.

The second match of the Group D double header produced no winner as both sides shared the spoils. In the earlier match, Ghana edged past Uganda 1-0 through a penalty goal after dominating proceedings for much of the match.

Starting from the bench, it appeared that El-Hadary would have to wait for another day to etch his name in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) folklore, but after 23 minutes, he was sent in to replace injured Ahmed El Shenawy to become the oldest ever player to take part in AFCON at the age of 44 years and two days.

The game started on a quick note, and Egypt’s Marwan Mohsen had the first chance after four minutes. The Al Ahly forward reacted faster to a Mohamed Salah pass, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Mali almost scored when Lassana Coulibaly soared above the Egyptian defenders, but his header was saved by El Shenawy but the save turned out to be costly as the goalie injured himself in the process and was forced to leave the field, making way for Hadary.

Mali was the better side for the rest of the first half, with Coulibaly and Moussa Marega being their most dangerous men. Egypt’s best chance fell to Mohamed El Neny, who saw his shot going just over the bar.

Egypt resumed the match afer the interval stronger, and once again it was Mohsen who had the first chance eight minutes after the break. Winger Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan paced through his markers, and his cross found Mohsen’s header, but for Mali’s goalkeeper Oumar Sissoko who fully stretched to save the ball.

The game saw no more real chance for either side.

Ghana tops Group D with three points while Egypt and Mali follow with one point each and Uganda are at the bottom without a point.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Arab News Express