Egypt continue preparations for Niger, Nigeria matches; keeper Amer injured

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 19 Mar 2019,
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Egypt national team
Egypt national team players in Monday's training session (Photo: EFA's official website)

Egypt national football team won't be calling a replacement for El-Entag El-Harby goalkeeper Amer Amer, who was injured in Monday's training session, assistant coach Hany Ramzy revealed.

The Pharaohs kicked off their preparatory camp in Alexandria on Sunday ahead of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Niger and a subsequent friendly game against Nigeria.

"Eighteen players were available in Monday's training, but keeper Amer Amer left the session after picking up a knock in his knee," the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said in a statement via its official Facebook page.

Amer was called up for the camp alongside Zamalek's Mahmoud 'Genesh' Abdel-Rehim, Smouha's Mohamed Abo Gabal and Ahmed El-Shennawy of Pyramids FC.

"Initial tests revealed that the player has picked up an interior knee ligament injury. It is a heavy injury that needs a lot of time on the sidelines," Egypt's assistant coach Hany Ramzy told Al-Nahar TV Channel after the session.

"The player will undergo further scans on Tuesday. If his departure from the camp is confirmed, we won't call an alternative aside from the other goalkeeping trio," he added.

Kasimpasa's Egyptian duo Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan and Karim Hafez were available in Monday's training session, while the other foreign based-players are expected to join their teammates on Tuesday.

The Pharaohs, who have already booked a place in Africa's flagship tournament with one match to spare, are second with 12 points in their qualifying group, on level with leaders Tunisia, who enjoy a better goal difference.

Egypt was granted the tournament's hosting rights in January after Cameroon was stripped of hosting in December.

On 26 February, Aguirre named a 25-man squad for the Niger and Nigeria tests, including 10 new faces, while dropping Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah, Aston Villa's Ahmed Elmohamady and West Bromwich Albion’s centre-back Ahmed Hegazi to allow them to rest.

With the Mexican Aguirre at the helm, Egypt crushed Niger 6-0, defeated eSwatini 4-1 at home and 2-0 away, and dispensed with Tunisia 3-2 via a stoppage-time strike from Mohamed Salah.

The 2019 AFCON is scheduled to take place from 21 June to 13 July, having been moved from January/February to avoid club-versus-country clashes.

Egypt won the last of their record seven titles in 2010.

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

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Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
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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
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Senegal
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Mali
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Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
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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