Egypt 1-0 Togo | Match Video Review | AFCON qualifiers
Egypt beat Togo in a 1-0 victory at the Cairo International Stadium in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers on Saturday.
Egypt, missing the spark of Mohamed Salah, needed a second-half goal from defender Mahmoud Hamdi to scrape a 1-0 home win over Togo and move joint top of their African Nations Cup qualifying group on Saturday.
The Zamalek central defender, nicknamed El-Wensh, settled a dour affair with a header seven minutes into the second period, helping Egypt end their winless start to their qualifying campaign.
He also netted his first international goal on only his third appearance with Egypt, having been called up after a string of impressive displays with his Cairo club.
Egypt, who were held to opening draws with minnows Comoros and Kenya, could ill-afford another stumble in their bid to reach the Nations Cup, which will take place in Cameroon in January 2022.
They received a blow when Salah tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, just one day before the game, leaving coach Hossam El-Badry with little creative options upfront. The Liverpool forward also missed the first two games of the qualifiers due to injury.
He was replaced with Ahmed Zizo against Togo but the Zamalek winger made little impact as Egypt laboured for most of the game.
They will still be content to bag all three points as they moved level on five points with Comoros in Group G. Kenya lie third on three points, with Togo, who are managed by veteran French coach Claude Le Roy, lying at the bottom with a solitary point.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the Cameroon finals. Egypt next face Togo away from home on Tuesday.