Egypt coach Cuper deflects criticism over cautious approach

Ahram Online , Friday 20 Jan 2017,
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Cuper
Egypt's Argentinian national football team coach Hector Raul Cuper smiles during a press conference on January 20, 2017, at the Port-Gentil stadium during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Gabon (Photo: AFP)

Egypt coach Hector Cuper defended his cautious tactics before his team meet Uganda in their second African Cup of Nations clash on Saturday, saying the team now "has an identity".

The Argentinean came under fire after a lackluster display saw Egypt settle for a goalless draw against Mali in their opening Group D game last Tuesday.

Although they defended stoutly, Egypt were toothless upfront after AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah and Ahly playmaker Abdallah El-Said were shackled by the Malian backline.

"We did not play badly against Mali, but we will be looking to improve when we meet Uganda," Cuper told a news conference on Friday.

"I understand that Egyptian fans would like to see us winning by a big margin every match, but my main target is to control every game.

"We are a team that has an identity. Our defence is good and we are working to improve our attack."

Uganda, who are making their first Nations Cup appearance since 1978, produced a superb second-half display against Ghana although they lost 1-0, thanks to an Andre Ayew penalty before the break.

"There are no easy games and we will never underestimate Uganda," Cuper added.

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1