The Black Stars hopes of making a fourth successive appearance at the FIFA World Cup were all but dashed tonight at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria after they lost 2-0 to the Pharaoh’s of Egypt.
The Pharaoh’s proved tactically superior to the Black Stars who dominated possession but conceded late goals in either half.
The first goal was scored by Mohammed Salah from a penalty in the 42nd minute after Hassan Trezequet was felled by Harrison Afful in the box.
The Roma winger scored his 27th goal in Egypt colours sending Razak Brimah the wrong way and slotting calmly.
The Stars continued to dominate the exchanges and came close to scoring several times in the first half.
Veteran Egypt goalie Essam Hadary was in superb form and on several occasions he denied the Black Stars an equaliser.
Hadary saved smartly from a thunderbolt free kick by Mubarak Wakaso and also frustrated the Stars with his playacting anytime he made a save.
Jordan Ayew also fired narrowly wide late in the first half after he managed to create space for himself.
The Stars continued to dominate the clash but after the break the Egyptians chose to sit back and hit their opponents on the counter attack.
Christian Atsu came closest to scoring but his left footed shot was saved smartly by El Hadary who moments later saved a tame header from Agyemang Badu.
The Egyptians completed their sweet revenge for a 6-1 loss suffered to Ghana in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers when Stoke City’s Ramadhan Sobhi raced away on the left flack before releasing the ball to Salah who found an unmarked Abdallah Said in the box to score.
Said allowed the ball to run across his body before swiveling to fire a low shot past a hapless Razak Brimah.
The Stars were also very wasteful from numerous set-piece opportunities that fell their way.
The Pharaoh’s now lead the Group with six points followed by Uganda on four points while the Stars are in third place with one point and whipping boys Congo have no points.