Egypt wins in Bradley's 1st competitive match
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (AP) -- Egypt beat Mozambique 2-0 Friday night in its opening qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, its first competitive match since Bob Bradley was hired as coach.
Egypt's first home game in eight months was played without fans under a decision by the interior ministry after more than 70 people died at a league game Feb. 1 during clashes connected to political instability.
"This first win in World Cup qualification was for all the people of Egypt," said Bradley, who hugged each of his players as they came off the field at the end. "We've all had many challenges, and the team felt that it was important to go out tonight and play for everyone. We talked before the game to look into the stands and to see 90 million fans because they were all with us tonight."
Mahmoud Fathallah tapped in the opener in the 54th at a military stadium on the Mediterranean coast near Alexandria. Joao Kapango conceded an own goal in the 63rd when Mohamed Zidan's volley came off the post and deflected in off the goalkeeper.
"In the first half we created some very good chances in the first 20 or 25 minutes. And when we didn't finish those chances, I think the players got a little bit nervous," Bradley said. "So at halftime we reminded them that they have the skill and the ideas, and they'll continue to play in a confident way. We saw it in the second half."
Bradley led the U.S. to the second round of the 2010 World Cup, then was fired after the Americans lost 4-2 to Mexico in the final of last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup. Egypt, which last played at the World Cup in 1990, hired him in September.
The win extended Bradley's unbeaten run this year to 13 games in charge of the seven-time African champion, which missed out on the African Cup of Nations for the first time in three decades.
Ten group winners advance to the third round, and five nations will qualify for the 32-team tournament in Brazil.
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