Capello pleased with lessons learned
Egypt were superior to England early on and took a deserved 23rd-minute lead through Mohamed Zidan.
They slumped in the second half though as the hosts replied with two goals from Peter Crouch and one by fellow substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips.
England meet Algeria, who knocked Egypt out of the World Cup in a play-off, in their second Group C match in Cape Town on June 18 and Capello said the way the African champions played would help his planning.
"Egypt are a very good team and played very well in the first half -- I learned a lot from them," the Italian told reporters.
"The north African style is different to the way teams from central Africa or southern Africa play and that is exactly the way I expect Algeria will play -- high tempo, great technique.
"I think though that Egypt might have run too much in the first half and they tired in the second."
HALF TIME SUBSTITUTE
Capello also justified his use of Crouch as a half time substitute as the Tottenham Hotspur man took his tally of England goals to 20 in 37 appearances, many of those after coming off the bench.
"We created four chances in the first half and (Jermain) Defoe could have scored two goals so I was pleased with the first half even though we were losing," said the Italian after Crouch came on for his Spurs team mate.
Capello also thanked the crowd for their support of John Terry, who he stripped of the captaincy after media reports of the defender's private life.
Terry got a mixed reception in the early stages of the game but whatever audible boos there were, they quickly died away as the Chelsea player began to show his usual authority at the back.
"I really thank the crowd for supporting him," said Capello. "It was a very important game for him after what happened to him off the pitch and he had a fantastic game.
"He is very important to us but I knew that when I made him captain in the first place."
Steven Gerrard, skipper for the night in place of the injured Rio Ferdinand, said Egypt made things tough. "They played very well in the first half but we showed good character and great togetherness to go on and win it," he said.
"We pressed a lot better in the second half and we won the ball further up and were a lot more dangerous going forward."