Egypt v Zimbabwe | Match Preview | African Cup of Nations 2019
Egypt’s national team concluded their preparatory camp for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Alexandria and will return to Cairo on Monday ahead of their Nations Cup campaign against Zimbabwe. on Friday at Cairo’s International Stadium.
During their camp in Alexandria, the Pharaohs played two friendlies under the helm of Mexican coach Javier Aguirre. They claimed two victories; 1-0 over Tanzania and 3-1 over Guinea during final preparations for the Nations Cup.
Egypt v Guinea | Friendly match highlights
A look at Egypt’s Team
African Cup of Nations:
Previous appearances in finals: (23) 1957, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2017.
Best performance: Winners 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010
Drawn in Group A with DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Coach: Javier Aguirre
The 60-year-old Mexican took over from Hector Cuper after last year’s World Cup finals and has the unenviable task of satisfying rabid home expectations. Aguirre played as a midfielder for Mexico, including the 1986 World Cup, and then coached first in his home country before jobs at Atletico Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Espanyol.
He has won the Concacaf Gold Cup with Mexico and took Japan to the Asian Cup quarter-finals four years ago.
Key player: Mohamed Salah. Age: 27. Forward.
Egypt will be expecting much from the Liverpool striker but after an exhausting season, which included him scoring a goal in the Champions League final, Salah will have to find extra energy.
He has won the last two African Footballer of the Year awards and become a global icon after a career which has included spells at Basle, Chelsea, Fiorentina and Roma.
Salah was the catalyst two years ago when a young Egyptian side reached the Cup of Nations final in Gabon and again in helping Egypt qualify for the 2018 World cup in Russia.
FIFA world ranking June 2019: 58
How they qualified: Second placed team in Group J, behind Tunisia but ahead of Niger and Eswatini. Took over as host nation in January.
Goalkeepers: Mahmoud Abdel Rehem (Zamalek), Ahmed El Shenawy (Pyramids), Mohamed El Shenawy (Al Ahly)
Defenders: Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek), Ayman Ashraf (Al Ahly), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Baher Elmohamady (Ismaili), Ali Gazal (Feirense), Omar Gaber (Pyramids), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazy (West Bromwich Albion), Ahmed Ayman Mansour (Pyramids)
Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Nabil Emad, Abdallah El Said (both Pyramids), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Walid Soliman (Al Ahly), Mahmoud Trezeguet (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos)
Forwards: Ahmed Ali (Arab Contractors), Ahmed Kouka (Olympiakos), Marwan Mohsen (Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).
A look at Zimbabwe team
Zimbabwe will come back stronger after an encouraging showing—albeit in first-round elimination—in Gabon two years ago.
Previous appearances in the AFCON finals: (3) 2004, 2006, 2017
Best performance: Group Phase
Drawn in Group A with Egypt, DR Congo and Uganda.
FIFA world ranking June 2019: 109
Coach: Sunday Chidzambwa
The 67-year-old is a revered figure of the game in Zimbabwe, having featured in defence in their first-ever post-independence international in 1980, and he has coached the national team now on four separate occasions.
He took Zimbabwe to a maiden Cup of Nations finals appearance in 2004 and has also worked as club coach in neighboring South Africa.
Key player: Knowledge Musona. Age: 28. Forward.
Bought while still a teenager by the South African giants Kaizer Chiefs from an amateur outfit in Zimbabwe, he proved an instant success in front of goal, nicknamed ‘the Smiling Assassin’ by supporters.
Bundesliga side Hoffenheim bought him in 2011 but he played sparingly in his first season and is now on the books of Anderlecht in Belgium.
He was 20 years old when he made his national team debut and has since scored 22 times for his country.
Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Polokwane City), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs)
Defenders: Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Divine Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Alec Mudimu (Cefn Druids), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Midfielders: Talent Chawapihwa (AmaZulu), Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans), Ovidy Karuru (AmaZulu), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Kudakwashe Mahachi, Marshall Munetsi (both Orlando Pirates), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Bruges), Danny Phiri (Lamontville Golden Arrows)
Forwards: Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United).
#Egypt 2-0 Zimbabwe