BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa - Underdogs Egypt shook five-times world champions Brazil at the Confederations Cup on Monday but finally succumbed 4-3 when Kaka converted a controversial late penalty. The Egyptians claimed English referee Howard Webb had awarded a corner when defender Ahmed Al Muhamadi diverted the ball round the post with his arm and only changed his mind when told by another match official who had seen the incident on a television monitor. Video evidence is banned by world governing body FIFA for use by officials to make decisions during matches. The controversy marred a great effort by African champions Egypt who fought back from two goals down to level at 3-3 and looked likely to snatch a winner in the opening match of Group B of the eight-nation tournament for continental champions. Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Juan had given Brazil a 3-1 halftime lead with one reply from Egyptian striker Mohamed Zidan but Mohamed Shawky and Zidan put Egypt level at 3-3 with two goals in a minute early in the second half. Kaka opened the scoring in the fifth minute as he steered a difficult bouncing ball through the defence with three deft touches before stroking home past keeper Essam El Hadary. But the African champions drew level just four minutes later when Mohamed Aboutrika broke free on the right and crossed for Zidan to head home. SET PIECES Brazil struck twice from set pieces before halftime, Luis Fabiano glancing home a great header from Elano's cross in the 12th and defender Juan heading in Elano's corner in the 37th. Despite the scoreline, Egypt's quick-passing game had troubled the languid Brazilians and they reaped the benefits soon after the break. Shawky hit back in the 54th minute when he struck a powerful shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box and within a minute the scores were level as Brazil's defence cracked. The excellent Aboutrika threaded the ball through for Zidan to notch his second. In the end, Brazil were lucky to win. Al Muhamadi's goal line save with his arm from Alexandre Pato's fierce shot just before the final whistle cost the penalty, defeat and a red card for the substitute defender. Samir Zaher, the president of the Egyptian FA, confirmed that he would lodge an appeal with organisers. "We will not protest against the penalty being awarded because that was the right decision, but the referee did not give the decision immediately -- he gave a corner. Then he waited two or three minutes and showed the red card and awarded the penalty."
15 June 2009
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