BARRANQUILLA, Colombia (AP) – Defender Ahmed Hegazi scored in the 67th minute as Egypt edged Panama 1-0 in the Under-20 World Cup on Monday.
Hegazi headed the ball in off a free kick taken by striker Aly Fathy, giving Egypt four points after two matches in Group E. Panama remains on one point along with Brazil and Austria, which will play their second match later Monday.
Egypt controlled the match from the start and had most of the significant scoring chances.
Striker Mohamed Salah struck the post in the 20th when his shot from the left was deflected by a defender and nearly went in.
''I'm upset because in the first half we missed too many chances,'' Egypt coach El Sayed Diaa said. ''You miss chances and then you can end up allowing a goal any time. But I'm happy with the second half and because we are 90 percent into the second round.''
One of Panama's best chances came from forward Cecilio Waterman in the 30th. He sped past several defenders and fired a right-foot shot from inside the area that was barely saved by Egyptian goalkeeper Ahmed Elshenawi.
Substitute defender Ahmed Hassan almost equalized for Panama in the 73rd after clearing three defenders and firing a dangerous shot from inside the area just over the crossbar.
''They are physically stronger and took advantage of that,'' Panama coach Alfredo Poyatos said of Egypt.
The Egyptians opened with a surprising 1-1 draw against four-time champion Brazil, while Panama drew Austria 0-0.
Egypt will close group play against Austria and Panama will face Brazil.
''It will be very hard but we have to motivate the players because it's not over yet,'' Poyatos said of the decisive game against Brazil. ''We still have one match to play.''
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni