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Football

Libya’s Mediterranean Knights edge Egypt to qualify for Futsal World Cup

CAF

The Mediterranean Knights of Libya came from behind to beat Egypt 3-1 on penalties following a thrilling 2-2 draw to qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The third place match of the TotalEnergies CAF Futsal AFCON Morocco 2024 produced four goals in normal at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Hall in the Moroccan capital.

Essam Ramadan fired Egypt to a 2-0 lead with two stunning strikes in the first half before goals from Mohamed Said and a late Suhayb equaliser send the match into the nerve racking penalty shootouts.

Libyan keeper Mahmoud Abd Elwahab was the hero in the shootout when he stopped two penalties to send Libya to the World Cup in Uzbekistan.

Libya started brightly against their North African neighbors with Mohamed Said and Ali Shosha pulling the strings for Ricardo Calabuig’s side at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Hall.

Mohamed Said tested the Egyptian keeper Mahmoud Abd Elwahab with a superb half volley but Mahmoud was equal to task as he pushed it away after 3 minutes of play.

The Pharaohs keeper was again called to duty when twice denied Ali Shoshan to keeper the score goalless.

Suhayb Alghoul rattled the Egyptian bar with a fierce strike from distance before Suliman Elderwish and Shoshan force the keeper to make a save.

The three-time champions broke the deadlock against the run play five minutes before the interval courtesy of Essa Ramadan. The Saudi based star checked into his right before firing past Ziyad Azeez to put Egypt ahead.

Ramadan doubled the Pharaohs advantage just before halftime when his fierce shot deflected off Libya’s Ahmed Abdelaziz and nestled into the bottom corner.

The 2008 champions should pulled a goal just before the break when Ahmed Alajnaf failed to hit the target with only the goal to beat.

The Mediterranean Knights returned from the break with more purpose as they battle for the last remaining spot to the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Ricardo Calabuig’s Libya pulled a goal back two minutes into the second period through Mohamed Said. The 28-year-old latched onto a loose ball outside the box, rounding the keeper before slotting his effort into an unguarded goal.

The two teams continue to attack and it was Libya who found the equalizer three minutes before normal time to send the match to penalties. 

Mohamed Said drilled a low cross into the Egyptian box and Suhayb Alghoud was the first react and turned in the ball and forced the match penalty shootout which they won 3-1.

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