Central Africa walk over Egypt 3-2 | Match Video Review
Egypt suffer a stunning 3-2 defeat by 10-man Central Africa in the first leg of their opening African Nations Cup qualifier
Egypt are on the verge of another stunning African Nations Cup failure after slumping to a 3-2 defeat by 10-man Central Africa in Alexandria on Friday.
Failing to build on their promising start to the World Cup qualifiers, the Pharaohs were punished for some defensive woes as Central Africa striker Hilaire Momi scored twice to give his side an upset victory in a match that was played behind closed doors due to lingering security concerns in Egypt.
Egypt appeared hardly affected by lack of domestic football action when they defeated Mozambique and Guinea in their first two World Cup qualifiers but they were completely out-of-sorts against Central Africa, who managed to win despite the first-half dismissal of defender Salif Keita for a second bookable offence.
The hosts took the lead twice through goals from Mohamed Zidan and Mohamed Salah but Momi made the most of their repeated blunders at the back to cancel them out.
Central Africa’s David Manga struck with 13 minutes remaining to spark wild celebrations for his side, who are 45 places below Egypt in the FIFA world ranking, following the final whistle. It was Egypt’s first competitive defeat at home since losing 2-1 to Ivory Coast in a World Cup qualifier in 2004.
Egypt will now face a daunting task to reach next year’s Nations Cup finals in South Africa and avoid another letdown, having failed to qualify for the 2012 edition following a hugely disappointing qualifying campaign that led to the departure of coach Hassan Shehata.
The second leg will be played on 29 June in Bangui.