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Italy Stunned By Fiery Pharaohs

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Egypt 1-0 Italy

Homos 40

It was the Brazilian legend Pele who once said that an African side would win the World Cup before the year 2000. Sadly, like most of Pele's predictions, it was about as accurate as a John Terry penalty. But if that vast continent can't yet produce a side capable of lifting the trophy, they do at least have a team who can beat someone who has. Egypt's single goal victory over Italy was hard-fought and gritty, but it was entirely merited. This was not a Cameroon over Argentina kind of result. The North Africans matched their illustrious rivals all over the pitch and held their lead with great composure

Quite how Hassan Shehata's well-organised and determined side are struggling to qualify for next year's tournament is entirely beyond me. They defend well, break quickly, move the ball with great comfort and, in Mohamed Zidan and Mohamed Aboutrika, they have two frontmen of real quality. A defeat to Algeria and a disappointing stalemate with Zambia has left the African champions at the bottom of their qualifying group, but this result should surely galavanise them into action by the time they face Rwanda in September. They certainly deserve a chance to prove themselves at the top level.

With both teams packing their midfields to shut down the space, this was a rather uneventful game, but it certainly didn't lack quality. Unlike the opening day dirge of South Africa and Iraq, it was actually a strangely compelling affair. Italy never seemed to sense that they might be in any danger. They patiently passed the ball around the pitch looking for space in that louche, laissez-faire Italian way that suggests they're doing it because it's their idea and absolutely not because anyone told them to. Unfortunately for them, the space never seemed to appear. Giuseppe Rossi, hero of the victory over USA, slammed a shot in on goal in the first half, but it was safely tipped over.

Egypt, on the other hand, always looked the more progressive of the two teams. They were anxious to cover every area of the pitch, stretching wider and wider in a bid to create chances. Like their opponents, they didn't get many, but unlike the Italians, they made sure that they made one of them count. Mohammed Homos, called into the team at the last minute, rose unopposed in the Italian box to power home the winner just before the half-time break.

The Egyptians are now just a win over the Americans away from qualifying for the semi-finals, a most unlikely turn of events given that they were drawn into a group with both the world champions and Brazil. Pele may not have got the timing of his prediction right, but with every result like this, a victory earned through hard work and talent and not just a strike of good fortune, you begin to wonder. Certainly the timing was out, but there may not have been anything wrong with the sentiment.

Egypt 1-0 Italy

Homos 40

It was the Brazilian legend Pele who once said that an African side would win the World Cup before the year 2000. Sadly, like most of Pele's predictions, it was about as accurate as a John Terry penalty. But if that vast continent can't yet produce a side capable of lifting the trophy, they do at least have a team who can beat someone who has. Egypt's single goal victory over Italy was hard-fought and gritty, but it was entirely merited. This was not a Cameroon over Argentina kind of result. The North Africans matched their illustrious rivals all over the pitch and held their lead with great composure

Quite how Hassan Shehata's well-organised and determined side are struggling to qualify for next year's tournament is entirely beyond me. They defend well, break quickly, move the ball with great comfort and, in Mohamed Zidan and Mohamed Aboutrika, they have two frontmen of real quality. A defeat to Algeria and a disappointing stalemate with Zambia has left the African champions at the bottom of their qualifying group, but this result should surely galavanise them into action by the time they face Rwanda in September. They certainly deserve a chance to prove themselves at the top level.

With both teams packing their midfields to shut down the space, this was a rather uneventful game, but it certainly didn't lack quality. Unlike the opening day dirge of South Africa and Iraq, it was actually a strangely compelling affair. Italy never seemed to sense that they might be in any danger. They patiently passed the ball around the pitch looking for space in that louche, laissez-faire Italian way that suggests they're doing it because it's their idea and absolutely not because anyone told them to. Unfortunately for them, the space never seemed to appear. Giuseppe Rossi, hero of the victory over USA, slammed a shot in on goal in the first half, but it was safely tipped over.

Egypt, on the other hand, always looked the more progressive of the two teams. They were anxious to cover every area of the pitch, stretching wider and wider in a bid to create chances. Like their opponents, they didn't get many, but unlike the Italians, they made sure that they made one of them count. Mohammed Homos, called into the team at the last minute, rose unopposed in the Italian box to power home the winner just before the half-time break.

The Egyptians are now just a win over the Americans away from qualifying for the semi-finals, a most unlikely turn of events given that they were drawn into a group with both the world champions and Brazil. Pele may not have got the timing of his prediction right, but with every result like this, a victory earned through hard work and talent and not just a strike of good fortune, you begin to wonder. Certainly the timing was out, but there may not have been anything wrong with the sentiment.
 
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