Egyptian Olympic team beat Australia Olympic team 2-0 in the third game of the group stage.
It was a very tactical match where individuals made the difference.
Shawky Gharib, coach of the Egyptian team changed his play system slightly as he used to use the 3421 system, he shifted the system into 3331, with only one destroyer Akram Tawfik and 3 attacking midfield players behind the striker Ahmed Rayan.
While Graham Arnold played with the same 442 system that he used in the past 2 matches against Argentina & Spain.
Australia missed their front 2, Mitchell Duke and McGree who were suspended due to the accumulation of yellow cards.
Plus, right fullback of the team Atkinson, so the coach had to make some changes.
Their absence affected the team especially in terms of quality, experience and maturity.
Arnold decided to start Deng as a full-back on the right with defensive instructions, Rowles as a centre back who starts for the first time in this Olympics.
Pierias played his first minutes in this Olympics as a right midfielder, Wales as a left midfielder and Tilio & D’agostino as strikers.
While Gharib played with two wingers, Mohsen on the right, Taher on the left & one playmaker Ramadan.
This system left much space to cover by Akram Tawfik, so two centre backs Galal and Hamdy had to push forward to help Tawfik covering this space.
Egypt also suffered in the second balls when there was no defensive support from the three attacking midfielders.
The shape of the Australian team while losing the ball was a 442 compact mid-block team, but when Egypt build-up play, They moved forward to press high.
Their building up was patient and slow to find the right man to pass the ball.
But if they were pressed aggressively by the Australian team, they went long toward both flanks.
Egypt need the win to qualify while the draw was in favour of Australia so, they pressed very high and aggressively to recover the ball through the striker to press the first line of the building up, then the attacking midfielder tried to press the ball receiver in the second line.
During the attacking phase at the final third of the pitch, They also used pitch width through Eleraky and Fatooh who were positioned highly of the pitch, in addition to rotating the ball from side to side to break the Australian block, which was phenomenal in ariel dominance and blocking shots of the Egyptian attackers, until the mistake they made at the end of the first half.
The system of Australia was a structural, not fluid one, that depended on physicality and toughness, long balls and ariel challenges.
Also, they focused on infiltrating wide areas using their wide midfielder and creating box overload using their two strikers.
Australia targetted especially the left flank because Deng didn’t give them the required attacking balance.
Pierias was marking Fatooh, while Deng was tucking inside to close the inside channel plus, the mark of one of the Egyptian wingers.
When Fatooh moves highly of the pitch Australia appeared to play as a back five.
But in the only ball where there was no communication and organization between defense, Ramadan phenomenally cut into space and dribbled past the defender and gave an easy assist for Rayan, who had a poor performance during the game except the goal.
At the start of the second half, Graham Arnold entered Arzani and Baccus instead of Pierias, who wasn’t at the level of the action and Genreau.
The Australian coach adopts the same strategy but with different players.
Arzani played on the left while Wales moved to the right.
The Manchester City player gave the team creativity and ball control which they missed in the first half.
On the opposite side, Egypt tried to control space more without risking the ball.
Egypt Played with a mid-block of 3421 After the entry of Ammar instead of Mohsen.
He was angry because of his substitution.
With the time of the match passed, Gharib told his team to set slight deep to protect their goal.
So Arnold entered Rich, the 196 cm tall guy and played direct football.
Long balls and crosses were sent toward the box plus winning 2nd balls, so they were near to score the draw, but El-Shenawy was fantastic.
He is the first national team goalkeeper. With two or three great saves he managed to secure the one null advantages.
The Egyptian coach entered Nasser Mansi and Ibrahim Adel to use their pace infiltrating the spaces behind Australia, which was attacking with all their lines.
And they managed to do it. Mansi’s run behind the Australian centre backs then a shot reflected from the goalkeeper toward Ammar, who scored it easily in the open goal.