Egypt made a winning start to their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign, defeating Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 in Alexandria. Watched by a crowd of over 74,000, which included FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the hosts' goals were almost as memorable as the opening ceremony, which preceded the match.
In a frenetic first half, it was Trinidad and Tobago who had the better of the opening exchanges. Jean-Luc Rochford's free-kick from the edge of the area was palmed past the post by Aly Lofty as the hosts started nervously. However, as the half wore on, Egypt's confidence grew and their first shot on goal, through Shebab Ahmed acted as a starting point for a prolonged period of pressure.
Mohamed Talaat and Ahmed both had half chances and Hussam Arafat should have done better when he stabbed a close-range effort narrowly wide. With their next attack, Ahmed Magdy spun past Daneil Cyrus and fired a shot which whistled just past the upright. The hosts' dominance was finally rewarded with a goal when in the 27th minute Afroto powered his way past Sean De Silva and Uriah Bentick to fire the ball between the legs of Glenroy Samuel and into the net.
Egypt could have doubled their advantage five minutes later, but Samuel made a fantastic flying save to deny Talaat at close range. T&T then broke quickly through Jake Thomson down the right hand side. The Southampton man cut inside, beating several Egyptian defenders in the process, and slipped a ball into the path of Rochford, who finished well.
Buoyed by a passionate crowd, the hosts came out of the blocks quickly after the interval and Samuel made a fantastic save to palm Arafat's downward header out for a corner. From the resulting set-piece , the keeper's weak punch fell to Arafat on the edge of the box, who made no mistake with a low drive. Then, shortly before the hour mark, Talaat got the goal his efforts deserved when he fired home after Samuel could only parry Ahmed's powerful drive into his path.
Despite the deficit, Zoran Vranes's side never gave up and only the quick reflexes of Lofty and the woodwork prevented them from pulling one back. Substitute Juma Clarence sprinted past Ahmed Hegazy before connecting with a high ball, which the keeper deflected wide for a corner. Then, in the closing minutes, the big striker crashed a shot against the post.
The islanders misery was completed in added time when Arafat struck a curling shot from the edge of the box that flew past the keeper, which had both Presidents, Blatter and Mubarak, nodding in approval - and 74,000 Egyptian fans in delirium.