Egypt aim to shrug off shaky performance with Gabon win

Egypt aim to shrug off shaky performance with Gabon win
Egypt players during a training session

by Bertin Basson

Sunday Sep 05, 2021. 10:00

Egypt will be aiming for a better performance when they take aim at Gabon in a CAF second round 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at Stade de Franceville on Sunday evening.

Kick-off is at 21:00 CAT.

The Pharaohs got their campaign off to a successful but laboured start, as they defeated Angola 1-0 in Cairo earlier this week. Magdi Afsha’s early penalty was enough for the north African nation to claim all three points, and they go into the match in Franceville locked on three points atop Group F with Libya.

“The first match is always difficult, and we didn’t even have time to prepare, except tactically. The players were also very tired,” Egypt head coach Hossam El-Badry said in the aftermath.

“The conditions we found ourselves in were difficult, with some injuries and the absence of others, but I was sure that people would understand because the win is the most important thing in this period.

“We are not satisfied with the performance, of course, but we are still at the beginning. We were exposed to difficult conditions, with the absence of some players and the injury of others,” he added.

Egypt were without talisman Mohamed Salah for the match against Angola due to on-going travel restrictions related to Covid-19, but the Liverpool forward has arrived in Gabon and is set to start the match.

Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny was expected to go up against club teammate and Gabonese skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he will miss the match due to injury. As will Ramadan Sobhi, but El-Badry will also be able to call on Mostafa Mohamed who also missed the match in Cairo.

Gabon lost 2-1 to the Mediterranean Knights in Benghazi on Wednesday in their Group F opener. Andre Poko opened the scoring for the Panthers, but Ali Salama’s equaliser was followed by a late winner from Sanad Al Warfali for Libya.

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