Man of the match and Zamalek forward, Mostafa Mohamed’s header made the difference as Egypt defeated Mali 1-0 in the U-23 African Cup of Nations opener at the Cairo International Stadium.
The Pharaohs were first to threaten Mali, when Ramadan Sobhi sent a cross towards Salah Mohsen, whose diving header was saved by the goalkeeper in the eighth minute.
Around the 30-minute mark, Ahmed Aboul-Fotouh went up the left flank and sent an accurate cross towards Mostafa Mohamed, who coverted with a powerful flying header to give Egypt the lead.
10 minutes later, Mali responded through El Bilal Toure, whose header from a corner kick went just wide.
Four minutes after the restart, Ibrahima Kone’s close range strike cannoned off the post after Aly Malle’s initial header was denied by Mohamed Sobhy.
Mali maintained plenty of possession for the remainder of the game, and in 88th minute Sobhy pulled off a huge save to deny Boubacar Taore’s long range screamer.
The win takes Egypt temporarily to Group A’s top spot with three points ahead of their anticipated clash against Ghana on the 11th of November.