Mohamed Salah and Omar Marmoush scored as Egypt secured a comfortable 2-0 victory against Malawi in the third round of 2023 AFCON qualifiers group stage.
Egypt XI: Mohamed El-Shennawy; Mohamed Hany, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, Mohamed Hamdy; Tarek Hamed, Mahmoud Hamada, Omar Marmoush, Ahmed Sayed Zizo; Mohamed Salah, Mostafa Mohamed
It was Rui Vtiroia’s first competitive game in charge of the Pharaohs after winning three friendlies as Egypt claimed the victory to jump to second in group D with six points.
The Pharaohs had a strong start to the first half in search of an early opener that could break Malawi’s defences.
Mostafa Mohamed threatened Malawi after four minutes with a powerful shot that went well over. Four minutes later, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim met Ahmed Sayed Zizo’s freekick with a towering header that hit the woodwork.
The Pharaohs intensified their effort to find the breakthrough. Zizo and Mostafa Mohamed’s efforts could not beat Malawi defences.
In the 21st minute, the Egyptians find their breakthrough when Mohamed Salah started a fine move by setting up Mohamed Hamdy on the left-hand side who sent a low cross to Liverpool’s winger who slotted home the opener.
It was a special night for the Egyptian King who scored his 50th goal in Egypt’s shirt. Moreover, he scored at Air Defence Stadium for the first-ever time, become the ninth Egyptian venue that Salah scores at.
In the first minute of the additional time of the first-half, Omar Marmoush doubled Egypt’s lead after receiving the ball from Mohamed Salah before having his effort deflected past Malawi’s Charles Petro into the net.
The second half was not very eventful. Egypt managed to hold the ball for the majority of the 45 minutes, without causing many threats on Malawi’s goal.
Al Ahly’s duo Ahmed Abdel-Kader and Marwan Attia made their first appearance in Egypt’s shirt, as they replaced Omar Marmoush and Ahmed Sayed Zizo respectively.
Egypt had two late chances for a third goal. In the 85th minute, Mostafa Mohamed’s header hit the bar before Salah’s follow-up was saved by Malawi’s keeper.
Abdel-Kader was on the verge of making it 3-0 following a solo effort on the left-hand side but he could not beat the keeper as the final whistle secured the three points for the Pharaohs.
Egypt will face Malawi again next Tuesday in the fourth round of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers.