Javier Aguirre: Trying new players more important than result
Mahmoud Trezeguet gave Egypt the lead in the 47th minute, two minutes after he was brought on by Aguirre, however, an 81st-minute equaliser by Amadou Moutari ensured the spoils were shared.
The game saw five players make their international debuts, namely Pyramids’ duo Ahmed Mansour and Nabil Dunga, and 20-year-old Amar Hamdi, who is currently on loan at Ittihad of Alexandria from Al Ahly.
Ismaily’s Abdelrahman Magdi and Zamalek loanee Mostafa Mohamed were also handed their Egypt debuts after being brought on later in the second-half.
A number of internationally inexperienced players also featured, including Mohamed Hany, Karim Hafez, and Amr El-Sulya, who played the full 90 minutes.
And Aguirre believes that giving these players a chance was more important than the victory, especially that the game was considered as a dead-rubber.
“We wanted to win, of course, although the result wouldn’t have any effect,” Aguirre said after the game.
“I wanted to try new players, that was the most important thing.
“Experimenting with new players by giving them the opportunity in this game, which was played in very difficult weather conditions, was very important,” he added.
Following the draw, Tunisia qualify for the final tournament as the group winners with 15 points, two points than second-placed Egypt, while Niger sit third with five points and Eswatini remain fourth with only one point.
The Pharaohs will now travel to Nigeria to face the Super Eagles in a friendly, which will take place on Tuesday, March 26 at 17:00 CLT.
The last time Egypt faced Nigeria away from home was in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers. The Pharaohs managed to secure a last-gasp draw following a Mohamed Salah strike to go on and beat Nigeria 1-0 in Alexandria and qualify to the AFCON for the first time since 2010.
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