13 October 2019 – Stand in captain, Luther Singh missed a penalty on the 56th minute as hosts Egypt edged visitors South Africa 1-0 in a once off u23 friendly international match played on Sunday, 13 October 2019 at Cairo International Stadium.
The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in a practice match in the coastal city of Ismailia on Friday and the result could have been completely different had the visitors utilised their glut of chances.
After going down to a 27th minute penalty, coolly taken by captain Ramadan Sobhi after defender Keanu Cupido had brought down the same player in the box, the David Notoane coached side took the match to the hosts creating a number of chances but were let down by some sloppy finishing.
Gift Links saw his dangerous cross cleared for a corner while Grant Magerman’s storming run almost produced instant results.
As the visitors poured forward, they left a few gaps at the back and could have paid a heavy price when Ramadan’s half volley missed the target by inches on the 42nd minute.
However, it was the visitors’ Happy Mashiane who had a good chance at the stroke of half time but hit his effort over the bar from inside the box.
After the pep talk at the break, South Africa literally camped in Egypt’s half but again a tale of timid shooting let them down.
Thabo Monyane had a good chance on the 46th minute but failed to finish off a chance he fashioned from nothing.
With wave after wave of attack, something was bound to give in and Phakamani Mahlambi forced the Egyptian defender to handle in the box leaving the referee with no option but point to the spot.
And to sum up South Africa’s day, Luther Singh who was given the captain armband blasted his spot kick against the upright going for power when placement would have been the best option.
Egypt were always proving a threat on the counter attack but it was South Africa who could have equalised and even taken the lead in the dying minutes of the game but Happy Mashiane, Jamie Webber and Shopane all wasted glorious opportunities as the match ended 1-0 in favour of the home team.