Hamdi Fathy scored in the last seconds to give Egypt a 1-0 victory against Zambia in an international friendly played on Thursday night at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Both the Pharaohs and Chipolopolo are getting ready for the commencement of the 2026 World Cup qualification process (in November) and the beginning of the next Africa Cup of Nations, with this match serving as a preview of the type of tough challenge they will encounter in the upcoming months.
Fathy’s third-minute shot forced Zambian custodian Francis Mwansa to make a save, and Mohamed Salah’s attempt on the quarter-hour mark was deflected narrowly wide. Egypt exerted early pressure.
Zambia got their first opportunity to score on 18 minutes when Fashion Sakala sneaked past Egypt custodian Mohamed El Shenawy and shot on goal, but El Shenawy made a great save.
After Egypt regained control, the Southern Africans had a brief period of dominance, including a chance from Emmanuel Banda that flashed just wide, before Mostafa Mohamed headed a cross just wide of the goal at the halfway point.
The remainder of the first half was controlled by the Pharaohs, but there was no goal at the break.
At the beginning of the second half, Egypt decided to switch to an attacking formation, removing holding midfielder Mohamed Elneny in favour of the more offensive-minded Zizo. The Zamalek player came dangerously close to scoring.
When Salah’s lobbed cross connected with Trezeguet’s head in the 55th minute, Egypt came within millimetres of taking the lead, but Trezeguet’s shot rebounded off the crossbar and away to safety.
When replacement Marwan Attia missed the net with the Pharaohs’ next good opportunity in the 83rd minute, it appeared that a scoreless draw was the match’s only viable option.
Fathy, on the receiving end of a superb cross from Zizo, scored from close range four minutes into injury time to give the North African heavyweights a well-earned victory.
Egypt will return to action on Monday when they play a friendly match against Algeria in Abu Dhabi, and Zambia will play Uganda the following day in Sharjah.