Egypt off to winning start at U23 Afcon

Egypt started their Africa U-23 Cup of Nations campaign on a positive note following a 1-0 win over Mali in Cairo on Friday.

Ramadan Sobhi and Mostafa Mohamed featured for the hosts in a promising front-line, while Ibrahima Kone lead the Malian pack.

The first opening came from the side of the hosts on seven minutes when Salah Mohsen nodded on target following a cross from Sobhi.

Egypt were forced to make a change after just 16 minutes as Nasser Maher pulled off the park due to injury with Amar Hamdy his successor.

The Pharaohs went ahead a minute before the half-hour mark through a telling header from Mohamed, who connected with Ahmed Fatouh’s delightful cross.

Mali started the second half on a promising footing as Kone hit the crossbar from a good ball two minutes in the restart while Mohamed Sobhi pulled off a mind-blowing save later on.

The Egyptians struggled to get going moments after returning from the tunnel, as the Malians had every area of the game within their midst.

Defensive interventions from Ahmed Ramadan halted El Bilal Toure from levelling matters after 68 minutes, with the former blocking the attacker’s plight.

Egypt introduced their second change in the final 15 minutes, as the goal-scorer Mohamed made way for Abdel-Rahman Magdi in the last third.

The Malians continued throwing in all their might for the equaliser, but the Egyptians had done enough to pick up their first win of the tournament.

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