Egypt wrap up AFCON qualifiers in Niamey

Egypt wrap up AFCON qualifiers in Niamey
epa07170633 Tunisia's Naim Sliti (L) in action against Egyptian players Mohamed Elneny (R) during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Tunisia in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 November 2018. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Mar 21, 2019. 12:00

Egypt will wrap up their successful 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign when they face already-eliminated Niger at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey on Saturday, 23 March, kick-off at 17h30 CAT.

Even before Egypt were named as the new hosts for the 2019 AFCON earlier this year (replacing Cameroon) they had already secured qualification as one of the top two teams in Group J.

The Pharaohs have claimed 12 points from a possible 15 (as have North African rivals Tunisia), while their 15-goal haul makes them the co-leading scorers (alongside Libya) in the group stage of the competition.

Egypt coach Javier Aguirre will be using this game (as well as a friendly away to Nigeria next week) as preparation for the AFCON finals, though he has opted to rest some key players, including Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

Niger come into the game third on the Group J log with four points from their five matches. They will finish third regardless of their result against Egypt (or the other group game between Tunisia and Eswatini [Swaziland] on Friday night) but the chance to claim a major scalp on home soil is one the Menas should be highly motivated for.

The previous Group J clash between the teams, in Alexandria in September last year, saw Egypt rack up an impressive 6-0 victory (with five different goal scorers).

South Sudanese referee Ring Nyier Akech Malong will take charge of the game in Niamey.



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