Honours even for Egypt, New Zealand
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Egypt and New Zealand played out a 1-1 draw in their Group C enounter at Old Trafford on Sunday which dents both sides' dreams of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Following defeats in their opening games, the pair were in search of a victory which would keep their hopes of qualification from Group C alive.

The opening 45 minutes was much the same as the second, with Egypt dominating but failing to take the chances that were on offer. The pacy, direct style was a constant thorn in the side to the New Zealand defence, but it was the Kiwis who opened the scoring in the 17th minute through a set-piece.

A corner from the right was headed on by Tommy Smith to the far post where Chris Wood was lurking. The West Bromwich Albion forward made no mistake from close range despite failing to properly connect with the shot.

The goal brought about a positive reaction from the Egyptians and Emad Meteab and Mohamed Salah both had half-chances until the Africans got their reward five minutes before the half-time break. Mohamed Aboutrika’s excellent cross found Salah at the far post, who got in front of his marker to prod the ball home.

They could, and possibly should, have gone in front 60 seconds later. Eslam Ramadan whipped a dangerous ball into the box, but Meteab’s header flashed agonisingly across the face of goal.

Five minutes after the interval, a Meteab header forced a good save from Michael O’Keeffe. Ahmed Fathi and Aboutrika had chances too, but the Egyptians’ shooting was wayward.

New Zealand went close through Michael McGlinchey, but his header was well saved by Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed Elshenawi.

There was a grandstand finish at Old Trafford, home of so many late goals over the years. Meteab missed an unbelievable opportunity in injury time. Twelve yards from goal with the 'keeper stranded, he somehow contrived to shoot over the bar when a side-footed effort would have surely won his side the game.

The action ebbed and flowed from one end to the other, but when the final whistle blew there were disappointed faces on both sides, who felt that they should have taken the three points from this game.

Both teams are in action again in the final group stage matches on Wednesday 1 August. Egypt meet Belarus in Glasgow while New Zealand face Brazil in Newcastle.