Egypt 3-0 Australia
Australia, 20th in the FIFA ratings list, were always going to be up against it when they faced The Pharaohs in Cairo, given that preparation was minimal and the conditions unfamiliar.
Egypt are the reigning African champions, a title they have held for the past three African Nations Championships and which they have won seven times overall.
They are 10th in the FIFA rankings and have now gone 15 games without loss at home in Cairo. Their last home defeat was against Argentina in 2008. But, they have conceded 8 goals in their past 4 games.
Having said that, this was only the 5th loss in 22 games for Australia, but more ominously, it was the 4th in the past nine games.
The previous biggest most recent defeat for the Socceroos was the 4-0 loss to Germany at the 2010 World Cup.
Sasa Ognenovski made his Socceroos debut for Australia, partnering Lucas Neill in the centre of defence.
Egypt had a couple of early chances that had Australian keeper Mark Schwarzer scampering about his 6-yard box.
Australia’s only real chance came in the 26th minute when Brett Holman played the ball to the left of the box for Tim Cahill, but, uncharacteristically, the Everton striker pulled his shot wide of the far post.
Three minutes later, Egypt took the lead after a through-ball to the left by Ahmed Abdul Zaher, which found Islam Awad. When Luke Wilkshire tackled Awad, the ball rolled loose to Zaher, who smashed it home from 12 metres.
Two minutes later, Egypt went close as Ahmed Fathi blazed wide.
Australia suffered a blow in the 34th minute when Brett Emerton went off with a hamstring strain. He was replaced by Richard Garcia.
Four minutes into the second half, Cahill, who has scored 21 goals in 45 appearances for Australia, headed narrowly wide from Jason Culina’s corner.
Egypt coach Hassan Sheehata made the first of his many substitutions in the 53rd minute when Sunderland’s Ahmed El Mohamady came on. It was he who raced down the right and crossed for substitute Gedo to score with his first touch. It was his 8th goal in 12 games for Egypt.
A minute from the end, Egypt were awarded a penalty by the Bulgarian referee when Neill was adjudged to have pushed an opponent in the back. Zidan despatched the spot-kick inside the right-hand post to make it 3-0.
Egypt played with a back-three, something that Australia also did in the second half but not as effectively.
Australian starting XI: Mark Schwarzer, Luke Wilkshire, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski, David Carney, Brett Holman, Jason Culina, Mile Jedinak, Brett Emerton, Tim Cahill, Scott McDonald
Egyptian starting XI: Abdul-Wahed El-Sayad, Mahmoud Fatah Alla, Ahmed Samir Farag, Ahmed Fathi, Islam Awad, Ahmed Eid Abdelamalak, Ibrahim Salah, Mohamed Abou-Trika, Ahmed Abdul-Zaher, Ahmed Elmedhamady, Wael Gomaa