Tuesday Feb 27, 2018. 13:30
Egyptian international player Ahmed Elmohamady has relived the memories of their final qualifying match for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Pharaohs faced Congo and Elmohamady had just entered the Borg El Arab Stadium pitch as an 86th-minute substitute.
He said the match was the most difficult five minutes in his career as the North Africans made their return to the global stage for the first time since 1990.
“If the game finished 1-1 – we would have to wait until the last game, a tough match against Ghana away,” said Elmohamady to FIFA.com.
“To see 85,000 people in the stadium celebrate, with 95 million people watching the game around the country, it was very important for us to get this done.
“It was a huge thing for the country. You could see how people celebrated after the game, in the streets and in the cities.
“First, I think it’s down to the manager. Hector Cuper is one of the greatest coaches we’ve ever had in the national team. Also, I think the experience in the team is important.
“You see the goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary - he’s 45. In the camps, in the games, he’s talking to the players and giving all of his experience to his team-mates.
“The Africa Cup of Nations also helped the younger players get some experience. You can see that in the games that we won against some good teams like Ghana.”
The North Africans are in Group A alongside Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.