Egypt v South Africa | Match Preview | AFCON 2019

Egypt v South Africa | Match Preview | AFCON 2019 Match Info: Date & Time: July 6th, 2019 @ 15:00 ET / Canada-USA | 22:00 Cairo Local Time Venue:...

Egypt v South Africa | Match Preview | AFCON 2019

Match Info:

Date & Time: July 6th, 2019 @ 15:00 ET / Canada-USA | 22:00 Cairo Local Time

Venue: Cairo Stadium

Egypt is back in action, which means another packed out Cairo International Stadium as Egypt set out to entertain the masses once more.

So far the fans have not been disappointed. Utterly dominant in Group A, The Pharaohs recorded three successive wins over Zimbabwe (1-0), DR Congo (2-0) and Uganda (2-0) to top the section without as much as conceding a single goal.

One of the more impressive trends behind Egypt’s success so far has been their consistency in not only scoring the first goal but doing so reasonably early. The seven-time African champions have been leading at half-time in every game.

In fact, all five of their goals have been scored in the first half, two of which by star man Mohamed Salah who has his sights firmly set on the Golden Boot.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah missed a couple of chances in the opener, but then netted in the next two triumphs, along with Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady.

“To win three games with clean sheets is a great thing – this gives us a morale boost for the rest of the tournament,” beamed Elmohamady.

Head coach Javier Aguirre admitted the weight of expectation has put pressure on his side, playing in front of almost 75,000 fans.

However, confidence is growing within this team that they can justify that support.

Nobody has averaged more shots at these finals than Salah (5-per-game according to WhoScored.com), and with penalties and free-kicks in his locker looks the best bet to open the scoring. However, their outstanding performer has arguably been playing on the opposite flank, with Trezeguet’s willingness to run at defenders and beat a man key to Egypt unlocking some stubborn defences.

No country benefited more from the new tournament format than South Africa. Despite falling to defeats in two of their three games in Group D, Bafana Banafa sneaked through to the knockout phase as one of four best third-place teams.

Progress out of a tough Group D needn’t have been so messy either. A point from their final group game with Morocco would have been enough to seal their place in the next round without the stress of relying on other outcomes, but a late goal scuppered those plans as South Africa slumped to their second 1-0 loss of the competition.

It’s clear South Africa haven’t come to play expansive, thrilling football. Stuart Baxter has tried to set his team up to be difficult to break down, and that has worked to an extent with the scoring in every game kept to a minimum. Exactly one goal was scored in all of their games, with each of them arriving in the second half.

 

 

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