Egypt coach Aguirre hails Tanzania and Guinea tests, is settled on line-up for AFCON opener

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 17 Jun 2019,
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Javier Aguirre, Salah
Egypt head coach Javier Aguirre with Mohamed Salah before he comes on as a substitute (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt got a lot of benefit from its two final friendly matches ahead of the African Cup of Nations, coach Javier Aguirre said on Sunday, adding that he has settled on the starting line-up for the Pharoahs' opener against Zimbabwe on Friday.

The Pharaohs claimed a narrow win over Tanzania on Thursday before beating Guinea 3-1 Sunday in the final warm-up test.

"The Tanzania and Guinea tests are sufficient preparation for the tournament," the Mexican tactician Aguirre said after the match on Sunday.

"We had 19 chances to score against Tanzania and we also created many chances during the Guinea match."

"The two matches proved beneficial for the team as we were able to test players in different positions, which has satisfied the technical staff. I am settled on the line-up that will play Friday's opener against Zimbabwe," he added.

Egypt is hosting this year’s AFCON, which has been expanded to 24 teams and will take place from 21 June to 19 July.

Egypt, the record seven-time African champions, will play in Group A along with DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Against Guinea, striker Marwan Mohsen opened the score for Egypt at 11 minutes before the opposing team netted the equaliser on minute 63.

After the break, Liverpool's star winger Mohamed Salah came off the bench to make all the difference for Egypt; helping teammates Ahmed Ali and Omar Gaber score the other two goals on minutes 78 and 86.

"Guinea's goal came from a mistake in passing the ball. This is normal in football as goals always come from mistakes," explained Aguirre who made many substitutions throughout the match in order to test his players. 

"Despite the goal, we restored the balance and ensured the victory. It was a very beneficial match," he concluded. 

With Javier Aguirre at the helm, the Pharaohs are optimistic about winning the precious title of AFCON champions for the first time since 2010, the last of their record seven victories.

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

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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