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Essam El-Hadary: Result more important than performance

Essam El-Hadary

Photo by Aminah Babirye

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary stressed that qualifying to the quarterfinals is more important than the team’s performance following the Pharaohs’ 1-0 win over Uganda.

Despite an unimpressive display, Abdallah El-Said scored late to give Egypt their first AFCON win and help them edge closer to the next stage of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. This marked Egypt’s first victory in Gabon as they had to settle for a goalless draw with Mali in their Group D opener.

“Winning and qualifying to the next round are more important than the performance,” El-Hadary told beIN Sports satellite channel after the Uganda game.

He added that the poor condition of the pitch, which had been criticised by a number of coaches and players, had negatively affected the team’s performance.

“I want to thank all the players for their performance in today’s match despite the poor state of the pitch,” the 44-year-old keeper said.

“We’ve an important game against Ghana in three days and we hope to secure qualification to the next round,” he added.

Following the victory, record seven-time African champions moved up to second spot in Group D on four points, two behind leaders Ghana. The Pharaohs will conclude their group stage games on Wednesday by facing the Black Stars, who already secured their spot in the quarter-final.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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