Moteab the hero as Egypt hold Ghana

African champions Egypt stormed back to snatch a 2-2 draw with Ghana in a high-profile Cairo friendly ahead of 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers next month.

Egypt, winners of the previous two editions of the biennial CAF Africa Cup of Nations, are ranked third on the continent and Ghana fourth, and the Cairo Stadium thriller matched expectations. Fortune favoured the Pharaohs when they took a 40th-minute lead through Middlesbrough midfielder Mohamed Shawky as his shot that rebounded off the crossbar and was adjudged to have crossed the line.

The Black Stars of Ghana, third behind Egypt and Cameroon when they hosted the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, levelled seven minutes into the second half when a cross hit Hani Said on the arm and Stephen Appiah converted the penalty. Clubless midfielder Appiah also featured in the second Ghana goal with 12 minutes left as goalkeeper Essam al-Hadary failed to grasp his shot and Prince Tagoe tapped home the rebound.

This goal triggered a fiery Egyptian response that paid off six minutes from full-time when Saudi Arabia-based striker Emad Moteab controlled a loose ball and drove past goalkeeper Richard Kingson from close range. Egypt coach Hassan Shehata started with recalled Germany-based striker Mohamed Zidan.

He also introduced Mohamed Barakat, a frequent critic of the coach, for Hosni Abd Rabou 15 minutes into the second half as Egypt sought a second friendly win in as many months having edged Kenya 1-0 at the same venue. Samuel Eto'o carried his hot Barcelona scoring form into the international arena with two goals as Cameroon triumphed 3-1 against Guinea in Evry-Bondoufle near Paris.

Geremi Njitap and three-time African Footballer of the Year Eto'o gave the Indomitable Lions a two-goal advantage that Pascal Feindouno halved before the Spain-based star had the final say with an 87th-minute strike.

Togo overcame the absence of injured Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who was crowned 2008 African Footballer of the Year in Lagos on Tuesday, to draw 1-1 with Burkina Faso in another France-hosted friendly. Jonathan Pitroipa gave the Burkinabe Stallions a first-half lead that was wiped out 13 minutes from full-time in Petit-Quevilly by a goal from defender Senah Mango.

Mali showed no mercy to struggling 2010 Cup of Nartions hosts Angola, winning 4-0 in Bois Guillaume through goals from Soumaila Coulibaly, Moustapha Yattabare, Frederic Kanoute and Seydou Keita. Morocco and Czech Republic failed to score in Casablanca, Tunisia came from behind to hold Netherlands 1-1 in Tunis, Uruguay pipped Libya 3-2 in Tripoli and Mozambique outplayed Malawi 2-0 in Maputo in other matches.