Trézéguet goal sinks Zimbabwe and gets hosts Egypt up and running

Trézéguet scored the only goal as the hosts, Egypt, opened their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in Cairo with Mohamed Salah returning to action almost three weeks after his success with Liverpool in the Champions League final.

The winger curled home a shot four minutes before the interval to reward the Pharaohs for a dominant first-half display.

Zimbabwe did threaten late on after Egypt failed to capitalise on further chances but the home side held on.

There had been reports that Zimbabwe’s players could boycott the Group A encounter amid a pay dispute but that did not materialise. Yet Zimbabwe soon looked like the outsiders they had been billed as Salah, Marwan Mohsen and Abdallah El-Said all forced good saves from Edmore Sibanda early on. Salah also fired over and wriggled through a series of challenges before shooting at Sibanda again.

Knowledge Musona had a shot blocked on a rare Zimbabwe attack before Trézéguet struck by cutting in from the left and bending a fine effort round Sibanda.

Egypt maintained the pressure after the break but Trézéguet and Salah both missed the target. Salah also tested Sibanda, who later went off injured, after being played through by Trézéguet.

Egypt tired late on and were almost caught out as Zimbabwe’s Ovidy Karuru shot at Mohamed El-Shenawy from 30 yards.

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