Sports News of Thursday, 10 January 2013
Ghana got a major boost ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 campaign after beating seven-time African champions Egypt 3-0 in a Thursday warm-up match in the United Arab Emirates.
Emmanuel Agyemang opened the scoring as he rose above the Pharaohs' defense, scoring a bullet header in the 18th minute.
There were some concerns for Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah though, after midfielder Anthony Annan was forced off with an injury in the first half.
Second-half substitute Richmond Boakye doubled the lead after intercepting an awfully cleared ball from goalie Ahmed El-Shennawy, firing it from close range in the 54th minute.
Star striker Asamoah Gyan also came off the bench to complete the rout in the 81st minute after being brilliantly set up by Christian Atsu to slide the third past the helpless keeper.
The Pharaohs had recently been performing below par in the absence of several key players, such as FC Basel winger Mohamed Salah, Hull City's Ahmed Elmohamady, Al-Nasr's Hosni Abd-Rabou, Al-Wasl's Mahmoud Abdel-Razek 'Shikabala' and Ahly stars Mohamed Abou-Treika, Mohamed Nagui 'Gedo' and Abdallah El-Said, the latter of whom all have club commitments.
Egypt failed to level their game despite numerous changes made by Coach Bob Bradley, which failed to help against a solid and organised team.
The Pharaohs were unable to pose a real threat to Ghana keeper Fatau Duada, with the exception of a few long-range shots.
The 3-0 result is Ghana's biggest ever victory against Egypt in their historical 18-match rivalry.
Ghana will next face Tunisia in Abu Dhabi on Sunday before flying off to South Africa for the Nations Cup. Earlier in the day, Gabon and Tunisia drew 1-1 in another friendly played in Abu Dhabi.
Fatau Duada - Harrison Afful (55' Solomon Asante), Jerry Akamino, John Boye Kwadwo Asamoah - Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (66' Christian. Atsu) , Anthony Annan (27' Derek Boateng), Mubarak Wakaso (74' R. Kissi Boateng) - Rabiu Mohammed (79' Asamoah. Gyan), Albert Adomah, Emmanuel Clottey (46' Richmond Boakye).
Ahmed El-Shenawy - Omar Gaber, Mahmoud Fathallah, Wael Gomaa, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (Islam Ramadan) - Mohamed El-Nenny, Ibrahim Salah (Marwan Mohsen), Amr El-Suleya (Saleh Gomaa 45) - Mohamed Ibrahim (Sherif Ashraf), Ahmed Hassan Mekki, El-Sayed Hamdi (Amr Zaki 45).