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Egypt penalty sinks All Whites in Cairo

The All Whites have falled 1-0 to Egypt on a penalty that was only awarded after a VAR review overturned the referee’s original decision.

Mostafa Mohamed’s 29th-minute goal from the spot was the deciding factor in a first round W Cup match at Cairo's New Administrative Stadium on Saturday.

New Zealand played confidently early on as they strung passes together. The opening 25 minutes was even, with neither side having a clear chance on goal.

The critical moment came when Egypt’s Emam Ashour darted into the New Zealand penalty area and he was tackled by All Whites defender Nando Pijnaker.

Ashour went down, grabbing at his shoulder, his teammates called for a penalty and referee Clement Franklin waved away the appeals, indicating Pijnaker had connected with the ball before the player.

Mostafa Mohamed
Mostafa Mohamed converted from the penalty spot to lift Egypt over the All Whites. PHOTO: EFA

While Ashour was treated — and eventually taken out of the game — the VAR team reviewed the incident, resulting in referee Clement pointed to the penalty spot.

Mohamed stepped up and confidently belted his shot high as goalkeeper Max Crocombe dived the wrong way.

New Zealand almost equalised before halftime as captain Liberato Cacace chipped into the Egyptian box for Max Mata to head over the bar from 10 metres.

In the 52nd minute, the All Whites had a half-chance when a Clayton Lewis free kick floated into the Egyptian area and Michael Boxall got a head to the ball, earning a corner when it was deflected wide of the post.

Six minutes later, Cacace and Mata combined again to produce a chance for the striker,whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper Mohamed Abo Gabal.

On the hour, Egypt had their first chance of the second half when Omar Marmoush broke clear but shot high and wide. In the 68th minute, Sarpreet Singh was brought down outside the Egypt area.

Singh took the direct free kick himself, his curling shot skimming the top of the crossbar.

Egypt almost doubled their lead in the 79th minute when Marwan Attia smashed a shot goalwards which Crocombe tipped against the post.

As the half wore on, the New Zealanders pushed forward in search of a late equaliser that would have sent the game to penalties.

New Zealand will watch Sunday’s match between Tunisia and Croatia with interest, as they will meet the loser in Tuesday’s play-off for third at the four-nation tournament.

Egypt 1 (Mostafa Mohamed 29') All Whites 0. HT: 1-0

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