Egypt U-20 4-1 Trinidad & Tobago U-20: Hosts Edge Through In Thrilling Tournament Opener
The wave of the future put on quite a show.
Egypt’s Under 20 side suffered a first-hand scare at the hands of visiting Trinidad & Tobago’s youths, but ultimately prevailed in dominant fashion due to classy finishing and solid play in the second period.
For the visiting Soca Warriors it was a lesson in efficiency and concentration, although they can be proud of some fine individual performances.
Nonetheless it is the 80,000-strong home crowd that leaves happy after this tournament curtain-raiser at the brand new Burj Al-Arab in Alexandria thanks to goals from Afroto,Hussam Arafat twice, and Mohamed Talaat.
Still, that crowd itself was marred in controversy. It has been said that up to 40,000 ticket-holding fans were locked out as prime seats were given to tens of thousands of members of the Egyptian military and police, leading to angry scenes outside the stadium.
For those inside, however, there was much to cheer about as the host nation put four goals past Trinidad & Tobago.
It took just under half an hour for Egypt to take the lead, but it was worth waiting for as Afroto powered his way past two defenders before sending the ball through Glenroy Samuel’s legs and into the net.
Trinidad & Tobago were on level terms just six minutes later. Jake Thomson broke down the right hand flank, dancing past a number of Egyptian challenges before setting up Jean Luc Rochford to equalise.
The second half was all about the hosts, however. After 51 minutes, Hussam Arafat gave Egypt the lead again with a low drive after a weak punch by Samuel.
Egypt pressed forward, and when Shehab Ahmed’s shot was saved by Samuel, Mohamed Talaat was on hand to make it 3-1 with a simple tap in after 59 minutes.
The game was sewn up in stoppage time with an excellent curling shot from the edge of the box by Arafat, leaving the ‘keeper with no chance.
It was an impressive opening performance from the hosts, and their confidence will now be even higher when they take on Paraguay in the second group game on Monday.