Egypt edge Italy in extra-time thriller

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Baku, September 23, AZERTAC

Abdelrahman Elashwal scored a hat-trick, capped by a extra-time winner, as Egypt saw off Italy with a 4-3 scoreline to earn passage into the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 quarter-finals on Thursday.

A fascinating first half was played out in Cali with Italy looking the more dominant side, though it was Egypt who led until the dying seconds of the opening period with the Africans also missing several clear opportunities.

Egypt goalkeeper Gamal Abdelnaser made several key blocks, but at the other end Ahmed Moza hit the crossbar just moments before feeding Elashwal for the opener.

However, Italy drew level almost immediately as Murilo Ferreira was sent clear thanks to a perfect assist from Humberto Honorio.

Egypt twice missed gilt-edged openings as Ahmed Homos firstly hit the post, and then missed a penalty, before Elashwal finally put them ahead. But much like earlier in the match, Italy drew level within a minute, this time via Marco Ercolessi.

Essam Alla had Egypt dreaming of victory with seven minutes remaining, only for Italy to once again draw level within a matter of moments as Murilo doubled his personal tally.

An intense period of extra time ensued with both teams having the opportunity to seal victory, but after Rodolfo Fortino hit the post for Italy, Elashwal pounced on a long ball for a famous Egypt win.

Egypt now face Argentina in Cali on Sunday with a ticket to the semi-finals the rich prize on offer for the victor.

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