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Egypt's target is to reach World Cup last 16, says Cuper

Egypt have made it to the World Cup after 28 years of absence and the Argentinean manager hopes they will go beyond the group stage in Russia

Eslam Omar , Tuesday 10 Oct 2017
Egypt
Egypt's head coach Hector Cuper (Reuters)
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Egypt will be looking to progress beyond the group stage when they make their third World Cup appearance at the Russia finals next year, coach Hector Cuper said.

"We are looking to qualify for the second round [round of 16] and pass the group stage," the 61-year-old said in an interview with ONSport TV late on Monday. 

The Pharaohs sealed their World Cup ticket with one match to spare in Group E after beating Congo 2-1 in a dramatic clash in Alexandria on Sunday, thanks to a brace from star winger Mohamed Salah including a stoppage-time penalty.

The Russia finals will be Egypt's first World Cup appearance since 1990. 

"Everything could happen in football as long as the final whistle off the match is not blown," Cuper added, recalling a memory from a high-profile game that had inspired him.

"Back in 1999, Manchester United dominated the game for the full 90 minutes against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final but the German team was able to score twice in stoppage time. Since then,  I've learned that everything is possible in football.

"This is what I thought about after the Congo goal; that we must react to the shock. We did exactly that," he concluded.

Egypt gained an unassailable four-point lead over Uganda at the top of Group E with one match remaining. Topping group E of the African qualifiers, Egypt insured the qualification with 12 points, four ahead of second-placed Uganda with only one match remaining for each.

They face Ghana in a meaningless match away from home in their final World Cup qualifier next month.

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