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Sunday, 17 November 2019

'The best' El-Shennawi rescued Egypt from Tunisia loss, says goalkeeping coach

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul, Saturday 17 Nov 2018
Mohamed El Shenawy
gypt's goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy kicks the ball during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier football match Egypt vs Tunisia at the Borg El Arab Stadium, near Alexandria, on November 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
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Egypt's goalkeepers coach Ahmed Nagy has hailed the impact of keeper Mohamed El-Shennawi in Friday's 3-2 victory over Tunisia, stressing that the Ahly goalie is the best in Egypt.

Egypt secured a 3-2 late victory over Tunisia in an African Cup of Nations qualifier in Alexandria on Friday.

Despite conceding three goals in the 3-0 loss to Tunisia's Esperance in the return match of the CAF Champions league final a week ago, the Ahly keeper kept his place as the Pharaohs' first choice goalkeeper against Tunisia.

"El-Shennawi rescued Egypt from a loss to Tunisia after saving his net from a certain goal when the result was inching towards a 2-2 draw in the dying minutes," Nagy told ON Sport TV Channel after the match.

Egypt fell to an early goal from Naim Sliti, but turned the match on its head with a deflected shot from livewire winger Mahmoud Trezeguet and a close-range header from central defender Baher El-Mohamadi on each side of the interval.

However, Sliti netted again after a defensive blunder to restore parity, only for the ever-reliable Salah to break the tie into Egypt's favour in typical fashion.

"All players, including the young ones, contributed in this victory. It is a good result and outstanding performance against a big team. The match was a chance for the technical staff to settle on many points," he added.

Asked if he faced embarrassment in choosing the first-choice keeper among current keepers on the national team, Nagy was clear that Shennawi has the upper hand.

"El-Shennawi is the best keeper in Egypt now. He delivers good performances and we always have confidence in him," the former Ahly's goalkeepers coach Nagy said.

"Shennawi's superiority doesn't mean that other selected keepers compete without honour. I congratulate all of them for the victory.

"The goalkeeping position on the Egypt team is honourable. I always speak with all goalkeepers in Egypt to give them a moral boost and we aren't worried at all about the future of the position.

Nagy denied that he had to apply a specific program to boost Shennawi's confidence after Ahly's loss in the Champions League final, saying that that "he is a big keeper who faces such situations normally."

"The performance of Shennawi and other keepers throughout the whole year has been marvelous," he concluded.

Egypt are joint top with Tunisia on 12 points but the latter look favorites to finish on top, given their better head-to-head record virtue of the away goals they scored against the Pharaohs. Tunisia beat Egypt 1-0 in their opening qualifier in June 2017.

Tunisia meet eSwatini and Egypt play Niger away from home in the last round of games in Group J next March.

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