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OLYMPIC FOOTBALL Group C: New Zealand and Egypt draw in frantic encounter

Egypt and New Zealand shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw which despite the African`s dominating for long periods, was a fair result to an entertaining encounter in which the Kiwi`s played on the break. With both teams having lost their opening group game a win was vital if either New Zealand or Egypt where to progress into the quarter finals.

Egypt had shown their form with a stirring if ultimately fruitless fightback against Brazil in the first game, and this showed in the opening 45 minutes which they dominated, forcing the Kiwi`s onto to the defensive for long periods.

So it was against the run of play that New Zealand took the lead on 16 minutes.

A Michael McGlinchey corner was flicked-on by Tommy Smith and Chris Wood the West Bromwich Albion striker was left unmarked to prod the ball home from close range.

Egypt hit back immediately and Gomaa Saleh brought a fine save from Michael O`Keeffe, then Mohamed Salah shot wide, but the African`s pressure finally brought them a leveller six minutes from half-time.

A cross from the right was met by Salah who side-footed into goal despite O`Keeffe getting a hand to the ball. It almost became two when Emab Meteab flashed a header wide moments later.

The second period followed a similar pattern with woeful finishing from Egypt proving a problem and as the half progressed the All Whites started to attack themselves but left themselves open to the quick breakaway.

Meteab saw O`Keeffe palm his header over then substitute Shehab Ahmed draaged an effort wide when well placed.

But New Zealand had the best chance when the unmarked McGlinchey sent a diving header straight at keeper Ahmed Elshenawi.

The game was becoming stretched with chances created at both ends, but the Kiwi keeper was the busier of the two custodians.

And in a frantic finale either team could have clinched the win, with Egypt the main culprit as deep into injury time with the Kiwi defence in disarray and O`Keeffe on the floor, Meteab blazed over with the goal gaping. Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Venue: Old Trafford


Egypt scorers: Salah 39 New Zealand scorers: Wood 16

Yellow cards: Smeltz (NZ), Alaa Eldin (Egy)

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Dave Williams

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