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Goalless week for Egyptians abroad
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 29 - 11 - 2016

It wasn't the best of weeks for Egyptian players abroad after all failed to find the back of the net even though their teams all managed to win their games. Starting with mega star Mohamed Salah, he was replaced in the last minute of injury time after he helped Roma defeat Pescara 3-2 at home thanks to Dzeko's brace and Perotti's strike from the penalty spot. Salah played a good game and had some decent chances to score and had a goal disallowed rightfully for offside. Salah has now failed to score for three games in a row. His last goals came against Bologna when he scored an emphatic hat-trick.
Roma's win over Pescara has closed the gap at the top of the table as league leaders Juventus suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Genoa 3-1. Juventus remain in first place but wins for Roma and AC Milan meant that both teams are just four points off the top with Roma second and Milan third thanks to Roma's superior goal difference.
Moving to England, Al-Nenni played a magnificent game as Arsenal defeated Bournemouth 3-1 at home to stay in fourth place behind Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City respectively. Al-Nenni played the full 90 minutes and even came close to scoring a couple of times but saw his two shots blocked by last ditch defending.
Still in England, Ramadan Sobhi was an unused sub as Stoke City managed to defeat Watford 1-0 away from home via a lucky strike as Watford's goalkeeper Gomes fluffed his lines and scored in his own net after failing to deal with Charlie Adam's header. The win means Stoke moved up to 11th place in the league table as they face Burnley at home next week.
The evergreen Ahmed Al-Mohamadi played the full game as usual for Hull City as they drew 1-1 at home with West Brom. With Al-Mohamadi, there is no need to see if he's in the starting line up every week as the experienced Egyptian is the first name in his team's team sheet week in, week out thanks to his consistency and experience in English football. He had a very good game once again and managed to limit the threat posed by Matt Philips and Nacer El Chadli when he came on as his team scored late to rescue a point which saw them stay in 18th place in the league table, level on points with Crystal Palace. They surely need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible if they want to stay in the Premier League this season.
In Belgium, Trezeguet suffered a humiliating defeat as he played the full game in his side's 7-0 loss at the hands of his parent club and league leaders Anderlecht. Ahmed Hassan Kouka's Braga will play later this week against Feirense at home as Kouka will hope to score for the second game in a row after scoring in the Europa League last Thursday. A win for Braga will see them move to third place with 23 points, one behind second place Sporting and six behind leaders Benfica who have 29 points.
Meantime, Salah made Egypt proud after being named to the final five-man shortlist for the prestigious African Player of the Year award for 2016. Salah edged some huge names including Yaya Toure and Yacine Brahimi to make it to the final list alongside Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Dortmund's Aubameyang, Leicester's Islam Silmani and the favourite to win the award Riyad Mahrez who won Player of the Year title in the Premier League after helping Leicester City win the league title last season in what football fans around the world described as the most shocking triumph in the history of the game.
Egyptian fans had another reason to feel proud as the Egyptian national team moved up 10 places in the November FIFA ranking after their 2-0 win over Ghana last month in the African qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. Hector Cuper's men are now in 36th place after finishing 46th in October's rankings.


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