Tuesday Nov 16, 2021. 13:00
Egypt national team coach Carlos Queiroz has said that next year’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying playoff tie is as important as the tournament itself.
Egypt put themselves 180 minutes away from successive World Cup appearances (which would be a first for the North African nation) after they guaranteed top spot in Group F with a 2-2 draw away to Angola last Friday.
The Pharaohs will wrap up this stage of the WCQ programme with a home match against Gabon in Alexandria on Tuesday afternoon, and new coach Queiroz – who has guided Portugal, South Africa and Iran (twice) to successful qualification campaigns – wants to see his side book a slot at Qatar 2022.
“The World Cup is the most important of all tournaments. For us, the World Cup is in March [when the playoffs will be held], not December [in reference to the tournament’s winter scheduling],” Queiroz said, as quoted by Ahram Online.
“I’m happy to shoulder the responsibility of qualifying to the World Cup. It’s the sixth qualifiers for me and it would be a personal achievement for me if I qualify to the World Cup for a fifth time.”
Queiroz is also looking forward to the upcoming Arab Cup, which he will use as preparation for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
“The Arab Cup represents a phase of our preparations, but we will also be looking to win our games. We are also definitely looking to win the Nations Cup, but the World Cup remains the most important,” Queiroz added.
“My aim is to make Egypt the number one team in Africa. I will be happy if I see other teams fear being paired with Egypt come March’s playoff.”