CAIRO: African champions Egypt have once again failed to grab a win away from home, settling for a goalless draw at minnows Burundi in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday.
Egypt played the second-half with 10 men after skipper Ahmed Hassan was handed a straight red card for kicking an opponent in the face.
The homesick Pharaohs have not won on the road since defeating Sudan 3-0 in 2004 in a World Cup qualifier.
Despite the draw, Egypt are still in charge of Group B with nine points, two ahead of Burundi and Botswana, who lie second and third, respectively.
Egypt will host Botswana in the last round next month and a victory will be enough to lift them to the Ghana finals.
Coach Hassan Shehata announced before the match that he would hand in his resignation in case Egypt failed to win the encounter.
Shehata fielded three strikers in Ahmed Mido Hossam, Amr Zaki and Emad Meteb. However, his strategy was not effective due to the lack of a playmaker.
Al Ahly s Mohamed Abou-Treika sat on the bench as he was deemed not fit to start the match.
In the first-half, Egypt dominated possession and wasted several opportunities to break the deadlock.
Zaki almost put the visitors ahead after nine minutes when he side-footed Ahmed Al-Muhammadi’s pinpoint cross just wide of the post.
Six minutes later, a mix-up between Burundi keeper and a teammate allowed Meteb to steal possession but he failed to score in an empty net as his low shot struck the post.
The defensive-minded Burundi tried long-range shots which did not bother Egypt goalkeeper Essam Al-Hadari.
Egypt’s hopes have suffered a blow two minutes after re-start when a reckless challenge by Hassan led to him being sent-off.
Abou-Treika and Omar Gamal were introduced instead of Zaki and Meteb in a bid to rejuvenate Egypt’s attacking display.
However, things didn t change and Egypt were tamed in front of Burundi’s net, making only one clear-cut chance in the second period.
Eleven minutes from time, Ahmed Abou-Mosallam’s swinging corner from the left was headed by Mido towards the net but Burundi keeper tipped it over