While the pre-match focus would have been on Chile’s Bryan Rabello, Egypt’s Mamoud Kahraba was the one who caught everyone’s eye in this U20 World Cup Group E match-up. Persistently dangerous in behind, he thrived off the midfield industriousness of Ahmed Hassan Koka and Trezeguet. Egypt’s goal after 9 minutes was the result of some excellent connection play between Koka and Kahraba, as the former set in the latter to give Egypt the lead after nine minutes.
Chile never particularly got into full flow; luck was on their side when they found the equalizer through Nicolas Castillo after 25 minutes. A fortunate deflection off Rabia Ramy had the South American’s level. Chile’s key players never really had a say in the game; Angelo Henriquez remained quiet throughout and was substituted after 58 minutes, while Bryan Rabello could never get a foothold in the game.
There wasn’t a shortage of clear cut chances throughout the game; both sides had left their “shooting boots” at their teams’ hotels. Mamoud Kahraba was particularly wasteful. In the first half. he was presented two golden opportunities, which he squandered much to the annoyance of his head coach, Rabie Yasin. Like Egypt, Chile were wasteful. Angelo Henriquez’s mere contribution was narrowly missed one on one midway through the second half.
Chile took the victory with 13 minutes to spare. Christian Bravo shimmied and unleashed a fine strike past Mossad Awada to fulfill the name “super sub” and get Chile’s Under 20 World Cup off to an excellent start. Throughout the second half, Bravo had added some pace to the game, and his appearance was made worthy when he scored the winner.
Cristian Cuevas, who is set to join Chelsea, left in shame after being sent off after a disgraceful tackle on Saleh Gomaa with ten minutes to spare. The game didn’t provide any profound encouragement towards the youngster, and Chelsea fans will have to wait to see why their new signing is so highly rated in Chile.
Although defeat is disappointing for Egypt, the brightness shown in the first half shows that they have the potential to overcome both England and Iraq. For much of the game, they were without their key player, Saleh Gomaa, who is dubbed the “Egyptian Iniesta.” Despite not impressing when he came on, there is still a lot that Gomaa can offer in the latter games.
Chile were somewhat let off the hook with a largely unimpressive performance; Christian Bravo’s goal was the only action worthy of note from the Chilean performance. Chile do have a lot more to offer in this tournament, and like many great tournament teams, they could grow into it.
Egypt coach, Rabie Yassin, claimed Chile’s individual skill helped them overcome Egypt over the 90 minutes:
“We were better in terms of collective play, but the individual skills of Chile players made the difference.”
Indeed the winning goal from Chile’s Christian Bravo just showed how the individual skill of Chile had helped them overcome Egypt.
Chile boss Mario Salas believed overcoming the Africans in the opener was not an easy task:
“Opening matches are usually difficult and winning today will motivate us, especially that overcoming the African champions was not easy.”
In their next game, Chile face England, who are looking to revive their campaign after a 2-2 draw with Iraq. Meanwhile Egypt face Iraq, who are buoyed after snatching an equalizer against England at the death.