Salah Secures Vital Point for Pharaohs

Seven-time winners Egypt, on Friday secured a 1-1 draw away to Nigeria at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna to maintain top position of Group G of the AFCON 2017 qualifiera.

Italy-based forward Mohammed Salah grabbed a late equaliser to cancel out a 60th minute opener by Etebo Oghenekaro much to the consternation of the home fans.

The first half ended goalless despite few exchanges on both ends but the stadium finally came alive in the second stanza when the home team took control of things with some inspiring offensive moves.

However, the opener did not come until the hour mark when Oghenekaro, who was voted the continent’s Most Promising Talent of the Year at the 2015 Glo-CAF Awards in January, guided the ball home following a rebound from a shot by Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho.

At the other end, Nigeria goalkeeper Carl Ikeme held firmly on to the ball after a lively shot by an Egyptian attacker in the 65th minute. Thereafter, the Super Eagles took control of the match and substitute, Victor Moses nearly scored the second goal for Nigeria in the 84th minute but his angular goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by defender Hamada Tolba.

Yet the Egyptians were not done and danger man, Salah, grabbed the needed equaliser in added-on time following a defence-splitting pass from substitute Ramadan Sobhi much to the disappointment of the home fans.

With the result, the Pharaohs keep their position on top Group G with seven points while Nigeria follows closely with five points.

The Super Eagles now face a herculean task away from home when they face the Pharaohs at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Tuesday.

Nigeria: Carl Ikeme – Shehu Abdullahi, Stanley Amuzie, Godfrey Oboabona, Efe Ambrose – Mikel Obi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho (Umar Aminu 61) – Ahmed Musa (Victor Moses 73), Moses Simon (Alex Iwobi 82), Odion Ighalo

Egypt: Ahmed El-Shennawi – Omar Gaber, Ramy Rabia, Ahmed Hegazy, Hamada Tolba – Ibrahim Salah, Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Said( Hossam Ghaly 71), Al-Said Abdallah – Mahmoud (Ramadan Sobhi 76), Ahmed Hassan ‘Kouka’, Mohamed Salah

Source: All Africa