Hegazi blunder ends West Brom’s 100% start

Ahmed Hegazi


Ahmed Hegazi’s error brought West Bromwich Albion’s perfect start to the Premier League season to an end on Sunday as Tony Pulis’s men were held 1-1 by Stoke City.

Jay Rodriguez scored his first West Brom league goal to put the hosts ahead in the 61st minute, but Hegazi’s fluffed clearance allowed Stoke substitute Peter Crouch to head the visitors level 13 minutes from time.

West Brom were left in fourth place in the table. Their failure to claim maximum points means leaders Manchester United are now the only team with an unblemished record in the division.

It was only the second time in seven games that Pulis has failed to beat Stoke since he left the club in 2013.

A predictably attritional first half at a sun-soaked Hawthorns yielded only one notable attempt on target.

After cutting in from the right, Stoke centre-back Kurt Zouma let fly with a left-foot shot that took a huge deflection off Gareth Barry, obliging West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster to leap and tip the ball over the bar.

The second period was similarly uneventful until Rodriguez struck to put the home side in front.

Allan Nyom whipped a cross into the area from the West Brom right and after the ball bounced inside the six-yard box, Rodriguez threw himself in front of Zouma at the back post to head the ball past Jack Butland.

Hegazi, who is on loan from Egyptian club Al Ahly, threatened to swell the hosts’ lead with a header that was touched over by Butland, only then to prove West Brom’s fall guy at the other end.

In attempting to volley clear a cross from his Egypt team-mate Ramadan Sobhi, Hegazi succeeded only in diverting the ball past goalkeeper Foster, enabling Crouch to stoop and head the ball into an empty net.

The latter stages saw Pulis hand a debut to Scottish winger Oliver Burke, who joined West Brom from RB Leipzig on Friday for a reported fee of £15 million ($19.3 million, 16.2 million euros).



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