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Cúper urges Egyptian fans to ‘remain optimistic’ despite loss to South Africa

Hector Cuper

(Photo by Luis Bagu/Getty Images)

Egypt national team coach Hector Cuper urged fans to remain optimistic despite the team’s 1-0 friendly loss against South Africa on Tuesday.

In their final friendly before beginning their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign against Congo next month, Egypt lost the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge to South Africa after a disappointing display from the Pharaohs. This comes one week after the Egyptian team settled for a 1-1 draw against Guinea.

The Argentine coach said that despite the negative result, the overall experience against South Africa was positive.

“I wanted to win that game but we shouldn’t feel disappointed after the result,” Cuper told Egyptian TV channel “Al Hayah 2”.

“The result against South Africa was negative but the whole experience was a positive one. We tried out new players and used new formations during the game,” the former Inter Milan coach added.

“We were able to create several chances throughout the game except in the final 15 minutes,” the 60-year- old coach added.

Cuper said that although the qualifier game against Congo is getting closer, there is no reason for people to feel pessimistic, saying that losing a friendly game isn’t the end of the world.

Egypt are scheduled to kick off their qualifying campaign away from home against Congo on October 3.

Cúper has ruled out rumors suggesting that the dispute between the players over who should shoot the penalty against Guinea was the reason behind excluding Ramdan Sobhi from the starting lineup against South Africa.

“Ramadan didn’t start the game because he didn’t perform well in the previous match against Guinea and we saw that there was a better player who deserves to start the match,” Cúper concluded.

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