15 November 2014 08:17
The England-based forward headed home after seven minutes of the Group G encounter on Saturday in Cairo as the Teranga Lions completed a double over the seven-time African champions in the qualifying campaign.
The Pharaohs, who needed at least a point from the contest, are in danger of missing out for the third successive time on Africa’s showpiece football event. The Egyptians have failed to reach the final of the last two editions; 2012 (Gabon & Equatorial Guinea) and 2013 (South Africa) since completing an unprecedented hat-trick of triumphs in 2010 in Angola.
With Tunisia wrapping up the group’s first ticket after a barren draw with Botswana in Gaborone 24-hours earlier, it left the two teams in contention and it was the visiting Senegalese who laughed the loudest in the Egyptian capital.
As early as the sixth minute, the visitors made the first attempt at goal and Diouf tried a low shot that missed narrowly.
A minute later, the Stoke City forward broke the deadlock, getting the better of Egyptian goalie Ahmed El-Shenawy to head home from Pape Diop’s free-kick.
Things turned bad for Egypt, who were already missing some key players through injury as El-Shenawy could not continue and had to be replaced by Mohamed Sobhi after the goal.
Ahly midfielder Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ was the Pharaohs’ best threat upfront and he had a few shots off target in response to his quest for a goal.
At the other end, petit offensive midfielder Sadio Mane was giving Egypt captain Ahmed Fathi and his colleagues so much cause to worry at the back.
After unsuccessful attempts for the equalizer, Egypt resumed the second half on a purposeful note pinning the visitors to their half, but were undone by their poor conversion rate in front of goal.
The final chance for Egypt to draw a point came on the stroke of full time but substitute Arafa El-Sayed headed wide from close range after Fathi had laid to him.
Tunisia has 11 points; Senegal has 10 points, Egypt on six points and Botswana with one point in that order.
The only chance for Egypt to qualify is the best third-place spot which will be decided from the seven groups after the final day of matches next Wednesday.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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