Friday Nov 13, 2020. 09:00
Egypt will chase their first win in Group G of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they host Togo at the Cairo International Stadium on the evening of Saturday 14 November 2020, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.
The North African heavyweights come into the clash with just two points, having played to 1-1 and 0-0 draws against Kenya (home) and Comoros (away) when the qualifiers began last November.
Egyptian football is on a major high at present, with their two biggest clubs – Al Ahly and Zamalek – set to meet in the CAF Champions League final later this month, while Pyramids FC narrowly lost in the final of the CAF Confederation Cup.
And any thoughts that tension between players from each club could affect the Pharaohs have been dismissed by coach Hossam El Badry.
“The game between Al Ahly and Zamalek won’t affect the national team, especially after they moved it to the 27th. Players from both sides have really high spirits,” said the former Al Ahly boss.
“Al Ahly and Zamalek’s qualification to the final is very positive and I hope it will benefit the national team.”
Togo head into the clash at the bottom of the group, having picked up just one point after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Comoros and drew 1-1 away to Kenya.
Head coach Claude Le Roy – who has led the likes of Senegal, Cameroon, DR Congo, Congo, Ghana and Togo at AFCON tournaments – is focusing on the processes, rather than the results, needed to bring the Sparrow Hawks back to their peak of 2006 when they played at the World Cup.
“A new generation has come through, and my objective is to continue working with this group of players,” he explained.
“If the coronavirus had never happened, we would be on the point of finishing a preparatory training programme that we implemented to continue with work that was begun years ago.
“My goal is to help this team to blossom, whether that’s with me or with another coach. My approach always involves leaving solid foundations behind me after I leave.”
Egypt and Togo last met in a friendly in 2017 which ended 3-0 in favour of the Pharaohs, thanks to goals from Mahmoud Kahraba, Ahmed El Sheikh and Mohamed Elneny.
The teams will meet in the return Group G match in Lome on Tuesday 17 November.
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