Shawky Plays His Part In Historic Win!

Last updated : 19 June 2009 By Boro Mad
The Pharaohs, who came into the game needing to avoid defeat to retain hopes of making the semi-finals, looked lively throughout and were rewarded with a 40th-minute strike from the Ismaily midfielder.

They then had stand-in captain and goalkeeper Essam El Hadary to thank after he produced a string of fine saves to help them hold on for all three points in Group B.

Both sides made a cautious start to the game at the Ellis Park Stadium preferring to pass the ball around, before Gianluca Zambrotta had seen enough in the seventh minute and fired in the first shot from distance, which was dragged wide.

The Egyptians too had their moments with the ball coming to Mohamed Zidan on two occasions inside the six-yard box, only to be cleared away by the opposing defenders.

In the 13th minute, an error from Ahmed Fathi allowed Rossi in on the left, but his rising effort flew over.

Five minutes later Mohamed Shawky was dispossessed allowing an Italian break, which eventually came to nothing after Quagliarella's cross was cleaned up by El Hadary.

The Pharaohs goalkeeper then made two splendid saves from 20-yard shots - the first was from Vincenzo Iaquinta, whose effort forced El Hadary to dive low to his left, followed by a Rossi strike that was tipped over.

At the other end Egypt also looked threatening with Zidan and Mohamed Aboutrika combining nicely to set up Shawky, but he scuffed his close-range shot with Gianluigi Buffon clearing the danger.

Hosni Abd Rabbou then tested the Italian goalkeeper with a dipping corner that was palmed over.

From the resulting Aboutrika corner, though, Homos rose nicely to head his side in front as they went into the break looking well in control.

Marcello Lippi opted to keep things the same at half-time, but his side still struggled in front of goal.

Their first chance came in the 52nd minute when Daniele De Rossi fired wildly over, before Iaquinta found himself on the end of a long ball, but, after controlling well in the six-yard box, he was denied by a diving El Hadary.

On the hour mark, Luca Toni and Riccardo Montolivo were introduced, but it was another substitute, Egypt's Ahmed Eid, that went for the wrong option, opting to pass instead of shoot after being played in by Aboutrika.

Andrea Pirlo almost found the equaliser in the 63rd minute when he curled his 25-yard free-kick narrowly wide, before Simone Pepe's whipped cross from the right bounced agonisingly across the face of goal with Iaquinta and Toni lurking.

The world champions continued to pour forward with the Juventus striker and Montolivo drawing excellent close-range saves from the inspired El Hadary as the Egyptians looked to sit on their one-goal lead.

One of the best saves of the night came in the 78th minute when Iaquinta looked certain to score with a well-directed header at the near post only for the Sion goalkeeper, who was going in the opposite direction, to somehow get a hand on the ball.

El Hadary then almost made a costly error when he misjudged an attempted cross from Iaquinta that hit the bar, but the introduction of regular captain Ahmed Hassan for the Egyptians seemed to calm nerves as the African champions held on for a unforgettable win.