LIVE: TOGO v EGYPT | 2022 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers
11:00 ET Canada-USA | 18:00 Cairo Local Time
Venue: Stade de Kégué, Lomé
An away win for Egypt over Togo in the second of a doubleheader on Tuesday would put the record seven-time African Champions in pole position to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.
The Pharaohs ended their winless start to their Group G campaign by beating Togo 1-0 on Saturday, thanks to a second-half header from defender Mahmoud Hamdi on only his third international appearance.
They are second in the group with five points, three behind surprise package Comoros and two clear of third-placed Kenya. Togo have a solitary point from three matches.
Should Egypt defeat Togo again in Lome, they will go level on points with Comoros and open up a five-point lead over Kenya with only two matches remaining. The top two in the group will reach the Cameroon finals.
Despite Egypt’s victory over Togo, question marks were raised following a sluggish display that had fans wondering whether the team could mount a serious title challenge if they reached the Nations Cup.
The hosts appeared greatly affected by the absence of talisman Mohamed Salah, who tested positive for COVID-19 just one day before the game. The Liverpool star will not be available again in the away fixture as he self-isolates.
“People should bear in mind that we are going through difficult circumstances,” Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry said following the win over Togo.
“We haven’t been able to assemble for almost a year so it’s very difficult to find the needed harmony right away.”
The Egyptian Football Association has announced that Arsenal and national team midfielder Mohamed Elneny tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving the results of the PCR tests the team took after their arrival in Togo.
Egypt will also have to do without right-back Mohamed Hani, who picked up a knee injury in the weekend game. Pyramids’ versatile midfielder Ahmed Tawfik is expected to deputize for him.