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Cuper admits Egypt were lucky against Tanzania
The Egyptian national team secured a spot in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon after beating Tanzania 2-0 away in the fifth round of the qualifiers.
“It wasn’t an easy game as Tanzania controlled the first 25 minutes and threatened us, but our experienced players managed to get back into the game and score,” Cuper said during the post-match press conference.
AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah opened the scoring in the dying minutes of the first half before completing his brace at the one-hour mark.
“We deserved to win, but I can’t deny that we were lucky when Tanzania wasted the penalty,” he explained.
Ten minutes into the second half, the hosts were awarded a penalty after a challenge from Amr Warda. Tanzania striker Mbwana Samatta however sent the penalty over, as Salah added the second for Egypt four minutes later.
“Our performance was good and we managed to stop Samatta who did nothing throughout the 90 minutes,” Cuper added.
The Argentine manager also praised 43-year-old goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary who made his first start for Egypt in 19 months.
“El-Hadary played a great game and managed to save a dangerous header in the first half,” Cuper said in reference to Ulimwengu’s header at the half-hour mark.
The win sees Egypt return to the African Cup of Nations for the first time since 2010, the last of their three-tournament winning streak.