Hosts Egypt picked up a hard-fought win in their opening game of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) over Zimbabwe in a game which was live on Citi TV and Citi FM.
Playing in front of their own fans, Egypt dominated from the start, creating chances almost at will with Abdallah El-Said controlling play from midfield.
It was, however, their finishing that let them down as chance after chance was spurned.
They also found Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda in inspired form as he batted aside the shots that got past his resolute defence.
The Pharoah’s star man, Mohammed Salah, had a couple of half chances, hitting a tame shot straight at the keeper and blazing over from inside the box.
Egypt lost centre-back, Ahmed Hegazy, in the first half as he had to come off with a suspected broken nose.
Zimbabwe had their own chances on the counter but failed to take advantage of any of them.
It looked as though the underdogs had done enough to get to the break level but they were undone four minutes from time by a brilliant goal from Mahmoud Trézéguet’s delightful strike which sent their fans into wild celebrations.
The second half started with Zimbabwe throwing more men forward but they struggled to test Egypt’s keeper, Ahmed El Shenawy.
Egypt continued to look dangerous whenever they went forward, with Sibanda keeping Zimbabwe in the game with some crucial stops including a decent save from two right-footed efforts from Salah.
But the hosts had done enough to secure victory in a game which was much closer than many had expected.
Egypt go three points clear at the top of Group A ahead of Dr Congo and Uganda’s game on Saturday
Group A: DR Congo, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Group B: Burundi, Guinea, Madagascar, Nigeria
Group C: Algeria, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania
Group D: Ivory Coast, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa
Group E: Angola, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia
Group F: Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau