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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2006, 19:44 GMT
Egypt 1-2 South Africa
By Vera Kwakofi
BBC Sport, Cairo

South Africa's Pierre Issa
Pierre Issa was a surprise goal scorer for South Africa

South Africa spoiled the Egyptian party when they beat the hosts of the African Nations Cup 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.

The friendly match comes six days before the curtain lifts on the Nations Cup and was the final preparation for both teams.

Bafana Bafana's first goal came in the 12th minute when veteran defender Pierre Issa bundled in a back-heeled shot, after the Egyptian keeper Abdul Wahed El Sayed came out to punch the ball and missed.

The stadium came to life when the Egyptians drew level in the 23rd minute after Amr Zaki converted a penalty, awarded when Emad Moteab was hauled back inside the area.

But the South Africans regained the lead when Porto's Benni McCarthy converted a superb cross from captain Sibusiso Zuma, to make it 2-1 with just seconds remaining of the first half.

The second half was a much duller affair, with chances few and far between, although a late period of pressure for the hosts gave the Bafana Bafana defence a good work out as they prepare to meet Guinea in their opening game of the tournament on the 22 January.

The result should leave South Africa coach Ted Dumitru in a much better mood after he faced criticism for picking a largely inexperienced side made up of home-based players for his squad.

The match at the Cairo International Stadium and was the final dress rehearsal for tournament organisers, who were keen to test the refurbished stadium's facilities - like the score board, the electronic ticket gates and security arrangements.

The stadium will host both the opening and closing games of the Nations Cup as well as all the Group A matches.


SEE ALSO
Hossam Hassan makes Egypt squad
10 Jan 06 |  African
South Africa go with young team
08 Jan 06 |  African


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