Sunday Mar 28, 2021. 10:00
Egypt and Comoros will battle for top spot in Group G when they meet in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at Cairo International Stadium on Monday.
Kick-off is at 18h00 CAT.
Both teams have already punched their Afcon ticket, having done so on Thursday with draws against Kenya and Togo respectively.
For the volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, a 0-0 stalemate at home to Togo in Moroni was enough to book their spot at what will be their maiden Afcon tournament.
The history-making squad now face record seven-time champions Egypt for top spot in the group and while Monday’s match might not mean a lot in the greater scheme of things, Les Coelacantes head coach Amir Abdou is relishing the chance of finishing ahead of the Pharaohs.
“Who might have imagined when qualification for Cameroon began that we would go into our final group fixture level on points with Egypt?,” said Abdou.
“It’s the culmination of a long process and it’s also a great victory to be tied with Egypt. The pride I feel for my country is indescribable… Together we have created history.”
In contrast to Comoros, Egypt will participate at a record-extending 25th Afcon tournament and boast stars like Mohamed Salah, ‘Trezeguet’ and Mohamed Elneny on their books.
That considered, their qualifying campaign has flattered to deceive, but yet a 1-1 draw away to 10-man Kenya did the job and head coach Hossam El-Badry echoded that fact.
“Fulfilling our target of reaching the Cameroon finals was the most important thing, which we did,” said El-Badry.
“We have some work to do to make further progress and inject fresh blood into the team.”
Egypt are expected to field a full-strength team with exception to Ahmed Hegazi. The Pharaohs centre-back, who skippered the team in Nairobi, will miss the match due to travel restrictions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia (where he plays his club football) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
With a single round of qualifiers remaining, Egypt and Comoros are tied on nine points (the North Africans are ahead on goal difference) while Kenya (4) and Togo (2) are already eliminated with Monday’s match in Lome also a mere formality.
The top two nations in each group advance to the 24-team finals hosted in Cameroon next year.