Croatia beat Egypt to win friendly tournament

football26 March 2024 22:55| © Reuters
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World Cup semifinalists Croatia came from a goal down to defeat hosts Egypt 4-2 and win a friendly tournament near Cairo on Tuesday.

Croatia fell behind to an early strike from Egypt defender Rami Rabia but roared back with goals from Nikola Vlasic, Bruno Petkovic, Andrej Kramaric and Lovro Majer for their second win after they beat Tunisia on penalties following a 0-0 draw on Saturday.

Egypt, who defeated New Zealand 1-0 in their opening match, scored a stoppage-time consolation through defender Mohamed Abdul-Moneim.

The four-team tournament is part of Fifa's new series of friendly games introduced to allow teams from different confederations to play each other.

Egypt made a strong start and took a sixth-minute lead when Rabia side-footed home from six yards out following a left-wing cross from Mohamed Hamdi.

Nantes striker Mostafa Mohamed almost doubled Egypt's lead on 18 minutes but saw his chip come back off the post following a one-on-one with keeper Nediljko Labrovic.

The miss proved costly as Croatia then gained the upper hand, with Torino forward Vlasic levelling the score three minutes later with a shot from the edge of the area.

Croatia pinned Egypt into their own half and missed some good chances, including an effort from Petkovic that went over the bar with the goal gaping. The Dinamo Zagreb striker made amends to put the visitors ahead on 57 minutes with a bullet header following a corner.

Substitute Kramaric added the third with another free header and Wolfsburg's lively midfielder Majer bagged their fourth goal three minutes from time.

Abdul-Moneim reduced the deficit with a late header but it did little to cheer up a subdued crowd at the newly-built 92 000-capacity stadium, 45 kmeast of Cairo.