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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 18:55 GMT
Egypt 3-0 Libya
By Matthew Kenyon
BBC Sport, Cairo International Stadium

Mido scored the opening goal for Egypt
Egypt's Mido scored the opening goal of the tournament
Hosts Egypt put their lacklustre build-up to the African Cup of Nations behind them with a 3-0 defeat of 10-man Libya in front of the home fans at the Cairo International Stadium.

After a dramatic opening ceremony featuring images of the country's historic past, it was a modern-day hero - Ahmed 'Mido' Hossam - who inspired Egypt in this Group A tie on Friday.

Newly returned from English Premiership duty with Tottenham, it was Mido who struck first, driving home a far-post header from Mohamed Abdelwahad's corner with just 17 minutes on the clock.

Five minutes later, Mohamed Aboutrika curled in a stunning 30-yard free-kick to all but secure the points before half-time.

There was a slow start to the second half in which Egypt rested on their laurels and Libya strove manfully but to little effect.

But the Pharaohs soon made sure of a perfect start to the tournament.

Midway through the half, BBC African Footballer of the Year Mohamed Barakat was hauled down in the box by Libya's Uruguay-born goalkeeper Luis de Agustini, who received a second yellow card for the challenge.

The first task of substitute goalkeeper Muftah Ghazalla was to face Mido for the resulting penalty.

Impressively, Ghazalla blocked the shot but he failed to hold on to the ball and was beaten by Ahmed Hassan's follow-up.

It was a strong start for Egypt who looked much-improved after their disappointing defeat in a friendly against South Africa last weekend.

The Pharaohs were watched in the International Stadium by the country's president, Hosni Mubarak - whose presence accounted for the tight security which surrounded the whole of the opening day.

The rumour that Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi would also be present proved unfounded - and that was perhaps just as well, because the group minnows presented little challenge to the Egyptian defence.

Group A resumes on Saturday, when Ivory Coast play Morocco in the Cairo International Stadium.




SEE ALSO
Clockwatch: Egypt 3-0 Libya
20 Jan 06 |  African


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