Egypt recorded a 2-1 victory over Ghana as both sides kicked off their 2013 Orange CAF U-20 Championship in Ain Timouchent, Algeria on Saturday. Second half goals from substitute Mahmoud Hamad and Saleh Gomaa from the spot gave the Young Pharaohs the maximum points, while 14 year old Assifuah scored for the Black Satellites. Egypt now leads group A with 3 points, two more than Algeria and Benin who played a barren draw in the first match earlier in the day.
The first half started on a positive note from both sides, and Egypt had the first chance after 8 minutes when Ahmed Refaat's shot narrowly missed the upright . Four minutes later Ghana had their chance when Francis's header was saved by Egypt's goalkeeper Mosaad Awad.
Egypt then had more possession and Portugal based striker Ahmed Hassan "Koka" tried his luck with a shot that shaved the post after 17 minutes. Once again Ghana replied with a long ball that Awad managed to hold thwarting Aboagye beating him in a one on one situation.
The game descended into a midfield contest until Egypt regained possession in the final minutes when Mahmoud Trezeguet's shot went to Ghana's keeper Antoy hands, before Refaat's shot went wide again. The first half ended in a goalless draw.
The second half was a totally different story. Ghana started on attacking note and Egyptian keeper Awad saved 3 well crafted chances in the first 10 minutes from Assifuah and Francis Narh who should have put Ghana ahead. After 67 minutes and against the run of play, substitute Mahmoud Hamad scored from what literally was his first touch to head home Ramy Rabiaa's cross and give Egypt the lead.
The goal gave the Young Pharaohs confidence and Koka could have made it 2-0 but his header missed the goal. And it was the 14 years old Assifuah who got Ghana the equalizer, capitalizing on a defensive blunder from Egypt's Yasser Ibrahim after 76 minutes. And just as both teams seemed satisfied with the draw, substitute Mahmoud Abdel Menaem "Kahraba" went one on one with Ghana goalkeeper Antoy who fouled him inside the area. From the resulting penalty Saleh Gomaa stepped up to score and put Egypt ahead two minutes from full time.
Egypt will take on hosts Algeria in an all North African affair on match day 2 on Tuesday, while Ghana have to beat Benin on the same day to stay in contention.