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Africa Cup Of Nations

Egypt settled for a 1-0 win in the opening match of the AFCON

Reuters | S. Salem

Egypt got their Africa Cup of Nations campaign off to a solid start as Trezeguet’s excellent strike secured a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe.

AFCON poster boy Mohamed Salah was in sparkling form in Cairo on Friday, but it was Egypt’s other winger who broke the deadlock shortly before half-time in the Group A opener.

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It was no less than seven-time winners Egypt deserved, with Zimbabwe’s Edmore Sibanda – who was forced off through injury late on – having made a string of impressive saves to keep the tournament hosts at bay.

Salah was denied by another fine Sibanda stop midway through the second half, but Egypt’s profligacy did not come back to bite them as they comfortably secured the points.

Egypt talisman Salah was involved inside two minutes when his deflected cross forced a save from Sibanda, who then kept out Marwan Mohsen from the resulting corner.

Mahmoud Alaa should have turned home a Salah corner and Egypt were almost punished when Khama Billiat got through at the other end, but Mohamed El-Shenawy made a brave stop.

Egypt finally got their breakthrough four minutes before half-time – Trezeguet cutting in from the left and firing a sublime finish into the bottom-right corner.

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