Cuper: The last 20 minutes against Ghana were the hardest
Egypt national team manager Hector Cuper spoke about the team’s match against Ghana in the final round of Group D in the 2017 African Cup of Nations, line up choices and the next encounter against Morocco.
The Pharaohs defeated Ghana 1-0 in their final group stage game on Wednesday and reached the quarter-finals as Group D winners. Egypt will face Group C runners-up Morocco in the quarter-final on Sunday.
Regarding his choice for starting the match with Ahmed Fathi as the team’s left back replacing injured Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Cuper said in the post-match press conference: “We chose Fathi instead of Karim Hafez because of his experience and ability to deal with such matches. This was a very tough match.”
“Karim Hafez is a great player who we trust and will surely help the team a lot in the next period, but after some thinking, I thought that the game against Ghana is a big responsibility for him and he is still starting his career,” Cuper added. “Maybe that wasn’t the best decision but I still think that Fathi was the right person for the match, and this does not mean that Hafez will not be playing in next matches.”
The Argentinian coach thinks that the last 20 minutes of the game were the hardest on the team as the Black Stars were close to scoring an equaliser. “In the last 20 minutes, Ghana was strongly attacking us.”
As for Egypt’s next match against Morocco on Sunday, the 61-year-old announced that the national team will have a small rest and then start getting ready for the game. “We will start working on fixing the mistakes we made against Ghana, especially those made in the second half.”
“We’re aiming high to please our fans, be sure that we are giving our best for the national team,” Cuper said speaking to Egypt’s fans.
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