U20 World Cup: Egypt 2-0 England

The teams lineup before their important clash.

The teams lineup before their important clash.

A must win for both sides as they were both looking to stay in Turkey and avoid taking an early flight home. Egypt went into the last group game having lost their two previous games 2-1. England on the other hand had two points under their belt after a 2-2 draw to Iraq and a 1-1 draw against Chile.


Egypt – Mossad Awad, Kahraba Mahmoud, Yasser Elhanafi, Rami Rabia(C), Mahmoud Metwaly, Gomaa Saleh, Samir Mohamed, Hamad Mahmoud, Osama Ibrahim, Ahmed Hassan,  Trezeget.

Subs – Abdalla Elhadad, Hammad Elhambaly, Ahmed Refat, Bassam Omar, Mahmoud Wahid, Hossam Ghaly, Mohamed Elshami, Hamdi Mahmoud, Mohamed Sherif, Mahmoud Hassan

England – Sam Johnstone, Eric Dier, Conor Coady(C), James Ward-Prowse, Larnell Cole, Harry Kane, John Stones, Tom Thorpe, Luke Williams, Luke Garbutt, Ross Barkley.

Subs – Gael Bigirimana, Jon Flanagan, Christopher Long, Adam Reach, George Long, Connor Ripley, Jamaal Lascelles, John Lundstram, Alex Pritchard.

The game started brightly from an England point of view as they produced an early chance,  Luke Garbutt put in a lovely cross from the left and it was met by the head of Harry Kane but he could only head it just wide. Larnell Cole was one of the brightest players on the pitch in the first half and one of his highlights of the half and match was his brilliant run. He somehow managed to keep the ball before playing two one-two’s on his way to the box and having a go at goal, however the young Manchester United winger couldn’t test Mossad Awad as he saved the effort comfortably. Conor Coady got into the act after he had an effort from range which stung the hands of Awad, before he quickly gathered up his spill.

The best chance of the first half fell to Ross Barkley after his Everton team mate John Stones played in a fantastic cross from the right. Barkley went for the volley and it was on it’s way in but Awad was there to deny him producing a great save. Barkley was in the thick of the action again quickly after he threaded a pass between to Egypt players, however once again nothing came of it as Kane took a heavy touch which allowed the Egypt defence to recover and clear the ball out for an England corner. Stones found himself creating another decent England chance as he played in Cole, who then cut the ball to Kane, this time his first touch was better but he failed to test the keeper after sending his effort wide.

The Egyptians didn’t create many clear chances but towards the end of the half they managed to keep the England defence alert with two long range efforts. First up was Rami Rabia who fired a rocket of a shot but failed to hit the target. It was then Ahmed Hassan’s turn but he also failed to unleash a shot good enough to test Sam Johnstone, Hassan created good space for himself on the edge of the area but didn’t hit his effort well and it was an easy save in the end.

At half time it was hard to look past England for this game, they managed to create a number of great chances, unlucky with some but other chances needed more clinical finishing, especially those with the name Kane printed on the back of their shirt.

The second half kicked off and it wasn’t long before England picked up from where they left off as Cole managed to control nicely before beating his defender, but yet again England were let down by a poor finish, as the winger struck his effort straight at the impressive Awad. Shortly after Barkley tried his luck from the edge of the area but like Rabia’s effort in the first half for Egypt it fired past the goal.

One of the first attacks of the half from Egypt resulted in a corner and penalty claims which were correctly waved away by the referee, Ibrahim put in a cross from the right but felt the ball struck Garbutt’s hand, reply’s showed the ball hit his shoulder instead.

England continued to put pressure on the Egypt goal looking for the all important goal they needed. Two tame efforts from Barkley and Dier were easily saved by Awad. Barkley managed to twist and turn in the area before his tame effort, while Dier’s effort was with his head after he met Ward-Prowse’s quality freekick.

Throughout the game Egypt managed to get in good crossing positions but time and time again there was no end product, Johnstone in the England goal managed to claim a lot of them, if he failed to do that the ball went flying over the box.

Pritchard managed to earn England a freekick on the edge of the area after his great run,  it was then surprising  to see center back Eric Dier step up to take it. However he showed us all why he took it as his freekick flew over the wall and cannoned off the crossbar.

Egypt could have taken the lead if it was for Tom Thorpe who brilliantly blocked a threatening shot from Ahmed Refat after his bursting run. Egypt was now looking stronger and causing more problems for the young Lions. In the 79th minute Egypt put a massive dent in England’s hopes of getting through as Trezeguet came in from the wing, skipped past Coady before brilliantly curling his shot around Thorpe and into the bottom corner, leaving Johnstone with no chance.

Egypt were transformed and continued to push for more goals as they needed 3 in order to go through. Gaps opened as both teams were going for it and it wasn’t long before we saw another golden chance, yet again it fell to Kane. This was his best and most important chance of the game, the ball was played over the top of the Egypt defence, Kane found himself in plenty of space, but can only head the ball straight at Awad but the keeper couldn’t hold it, the rebound fell to Kane who looked even more certain to score but the striker fluffed his lines and sliced his shot wide. If the other chances didn’t sum up his night then this one certainly did.

Injury time arrived and for England it was only a matter of time before their fates were sealed. However more drama unfolded as Samir picked up the ball on half way, with had plenty of space to run into and two defenders back pedaling. Some skill on the edge of the area knocked the ball past the two defenders but his heavy touch took the ball away from him, but luckily Hassan was up with him and like Trezeguet earlier he produced a lovely finish to curl the ball into the far bottom corner past Johnstone, sending his fans and team mates wild. With only 90 seconds on the clock, there was no way back fro England and time quickly ran out for Egypt as they couldn’t get a third.

Despite having more and better chances than Egypt, England failed to make them count and will now be flying home early. Egypt can be pride of tonight’s victory, they may be out of the tournament but they went out fighting. England finish bottom of the group with 2 points, Egypt in third with 3 points and that leaves Iraq and Chile going through to the knockout stages.

Article for worldfootballreport.


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