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2023 AFCON Qualifying: Egypt secures narrow victory over Ethiopia

Mostafa Fathi provided the only goal on Friday in a 1-0 Group D victory for Egypt over Ethiopia to conclude their successful 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign. The Pyramids FC attacker struck towards the end of the first half for the Group D winners who encountered stiff resistance at times from an Ethiopian team who was eliminated from qualifying contention and playing for pride.

The Pharaohs, without star Mohamed Salah, were well in control in the first half but Ethiopia goalkeeper Said Habtamu proved to be a difficult obstacle for the hosts. The Adama City shot stopper came up with a remarkable reaction save to keep out a header from Mohamed Abdelmonem after the Al Ahly defender got on the end of the corner kick. Egypt did find a way past Habtamu eventually and it was Fathi who produced the finishing touch in the 39th minute, sweeping in to finish the rebound after Habtamu could only block Omar Marmoush’s effort from distance in front of the goal.

The Ethiopian team improved their efforts in attack for the second half after experienced playmaker Shimelis Bekele was introduced at halftime. Bekele created the first good look following a clever short corner kick routine but Abel Yalew could only put his shot wide when he got on the end of Bekele’s low cross. Yalew continued to be Ethiopia’s main threat but could not find a way past Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy on two occasions in the final twenty minutes.

Video of Fathi’s goal is below.

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