World Cup Qualifying Preview: Egypt vs Ghana – 2nd leg
Match: Egypt vs Ghana
Competition: World Cup Qualifying, Second Leg of Round Three
Venue: Air Defense Stadium, Cairo, Egypt
Referee: Noumandiez Doue
Date & Time: Tuesday November 19th 2013; 18:00 Egypt local time
The Pharaohs need a miracle to progress to Brazil 2014, but the beautiful game can turn a miracle into reality. The Black Stars arrived yesterday with their hopes high, qualification seems inevitable. Bob Bradley’s tone of voice during his press conference emphasizes this claim.
For the second time in nine days a game will be played in Cairo with the attendance of fans. It’s axiomatic that this game will have a behemoth of an influence on the FA. If this game goes as planned – with fans obeying the rules, the domestic competitions will be resumed. Otherwise, the competitions may not return at all. It counts for more than just a World Cup qualifier.
The Black Stars are set to reach their third successive World Cup, in what will be the first time that a domestic manager leads Ghana to the big stage. The most notable inclusion in the squad is the return of Schalke ace Kevin Prince-Boateng, who missed the first leg through injury. His commitment to Ghana has put him under heaps of criticism. Nevertheless, few can doubt Boateng’s ability.
Bob Bradley has promised that ‘Everyone will see a different Egypt’. The notable squad exclusions are Abdullah El-Said and Ahmed Elmohamady, who made way for Ibrahim Salah and Sherif Abdel-Fadil. The latter was integral in Al Ahly’s Champions League triumph.
Well, it’ll need a miracle. There has been a growing consensus that even the most influential, megalomaniac manager and the most gifted players can’t get a result against Ghana. The slightest of hope can change everything. Who knows?
Even if the likely and the inevitable happen, life doesn’t end in 2014. The FA must construct a plan – a plan that will nurture youngsters who will excel at the international level. The 6-1 should act as a klaxon. U-17, U-20 and U-23 sides should be taken great care of. Only this way will we get sides that will regularly participate in the World Cup.
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