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Gharib: Sanchez more difficult than any player in AFCON qualifiers

Alexis Sanchez

Egypt coach believes the Pharaohs won’t come across a more difficult opponent than Alexis Sanchez in any African Cup of Nations qualifier.

Following Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Chile, coach Shawky Gharib shed some light on why La Roja were the superior team: Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez.

“Alexis Sanchez, along with the rest of the Chilean players, rely on strength and speed,” he told television channel Al Hayat 2.

According to Gharib: “We will not find any athlete in African qualifiers as difficult as Sanchez.”

The former Smouha and Ismaily manager also explained that Egypt conceded two goals as a result of two interceptions, due to the speed and quickness of the Chilean team.

Dzeko the easier opponent

Aly Ghazal

In March, Egypt defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 in Shawky Gharib’s impressive debut as manager.

Manchester City hitman Edin Dzeko, along with the majority of the opposition’s offensive players, were held relatively quiet as the centre-back trio of Aly Ghazal, Rami Rabia, and Ahmed Said ‘Okka’ were able to comfortably deal with every Bosnian attack.

Nacional’s Ghazal was extremely impressive, preventing Dzeko from having any real impact on the match.

During the same interview with Al Hayat, Gharib went as far to state that Edin Dzeko was ‘easier’ to mark than Alexis Sanchez.

“African national teams rely on a physical, tough striker, such as Edin Dzeko,” suggesting that his team knows how to defend against these types of forwards, rather than the speedy attackers like Sanchez.

Egypt wraps up their scheduled preparations for the 2015 African Cup of Nations with a friendly against Jamaica in London tonight (June 4).

The Pharaohs’ group for the qualifiers consists of Senegal, Tunisia, and a team to be determined, with matches starting in early September.

Egypt. Arsenal. UNC. Al Ahly. In that order.

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