We intended to make opponents feel bored, says Egypt's Trezeguet

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Feb 2017,
Egyptian team players celebrate after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final football match between Egypt and Cameroon at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on February 5, 2017. (AFP)

Egypt midfielder and winger Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan has defended the defensive tactics of Argentinean manager Hector Cuper, saying "It's the best way to play with African opponents."

"The team intended to make opponents feel bored because of the tight defensive, in order to snatch the victory goal at the end," the Excel Mouscron of Belgium player told an Egyptian TV program Monday after the team's return from Gabon.

Scoring only five goals, the Pharaohs finished as the runners-up of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations after failing to defeat champions Cameroon who came back to win at the end of Sunday's final.

"This is the best way to play with African opponents. Cuper is the best coach I have ever worked with in terms of his communication with players," the 22-year-old added.

Cuper, who was appointed in March 2015, failed to end a jinxed run, which saw him lose five domestic and continental finals with Spain's Mallorca and Valencia clubs and Greek club Aris Thessaloniki.

The record holders of seven trophies, Egypt made it to the finals after taking the lead of the group stage with a goalless draw against  Mali and two 1-0 victories over Uganda and Ghana.

The Pharaohs defeated Morocco 1-0 in the quarterfinals in a tough game before passing Burkina Faso with penalty shootouts, thanks to record-breaking goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary.

Egypt, who failed to qualify for the last three editions of the Nations Cup, won 2017's fair play award and gained appreciation of fans and critics. The team were welcomed home at the airport by the country's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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