Egypt in a DO or DIE match against Morocco | #CAN2017 QUARTER-FINAL | Preview
DATE: SUN, 29 JAN 2017
TIME: 21:00 Cairo Local Time
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS – QUARTER-FINAL
Venue: Stade de Port-Gentil
Hector Cuper can take a step closer to winning a first Africa Cup of Nations crown for him & 8th title to Egypt when he leads the Pharaohs into a quarter-final against Morocco in Port-Gentil on Sunday.[button color=”blue” size=”big” link=”https://www.facebook.com/nilesportslive/” target=”blank” ]Like our page on FACEBOOK[/button]
Hopes are now beginning to rise back home that the Pharaohs can mark their return to the competition after a seven-year absence by winning a record-extending eighth title.
“Our ambitions are very high and we are going to fight and give our best in order to keep progressing,” said Cuper.
Egyptian Football Association Hazem El Hawary board member believes Cuper’s methods have revived the team.
“Everybody can watch what he is doing. He teaches the players organisation, he has a system that does not change and the players are getting used to it,” El Hawary said.
“That is why we keep improving. Everybody says now Egypt plays with a system. They are not playing haphazard. Our results in the last one year and a half are super.”
Egypt, the only team not to concede any goals in three group-stage matches, secured narrow 1-0 victories over Uganda and Ghana following an opening 0-0 draw with Mali to top Group D.
Morocco finished second in Group C with two wins over Ivory Coast and Togo after an opening 1-0 loss to DR Congo.
“I can accept that Egypt is described as defensive, but Morocco isn’t the same,” Cuper told a news conference previewing the quarter-final clash.
“Morocco are defensively organized but they are very strong in attack. They are also physically strong and win almost all physical duels.
“Both sides will play to win so they will also rely on their attack, not just how they defend,” the Argentinean boss added.
Cuper also sees no problem in scraping narrow victories as long as Egypt keep a clean sheet.
“Yes, we want to score more goals but not conceding any is more important. If a solitary goal will give us the win we need, then I will be very satisfied,” he said.
“My team scored 37 goals in 21 matches and this is a good record.”
Egypt last beat Morocco when a free-kick by the country’s great Taher Abou-Zeid gave them a 1-0 win at the 1986 Nations Cup on home soil.
Egypt 1-0 Morocco 1986 Nations Cup
Egypt 1-0 Morocco 1998 Nations Cup
Morocco coach Herve Renard says strong opponent Egypt always competes for the African Cup of Nations title, expecting a difficult test against the Pharaohs who showed they have something to prove in Gabon.
“We know Egypt (the national team) well and we have studied them on all levels. It is a very strong team with a big reputation in Africa,” Renard said in a press conference Saturday.
“Egypt’s current performance at the tournament reflects that they returned back with something to prove.
“They always compete for the title only in any African tournament and Sunday’s match will be very difficult,” added the 48-year-old tactician who eyes winning a third Africa Cup of Nations crown. Renard won the trophy before as coach with Zambia and Ivory Coast in 2012 and 2015 respectively.
“What happened in the past remains as history, but now the time and place are different,” explained Renard.
“The last confrontation was in 2006 (a 0-0 draw at the African Cup) and all things for both sides are totally different now,” he added.
“I didn’t meet or play against Cuper before, but I know him well and it will be an honor for me to play for the first time against this veteran coach,” Renard concluded.
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