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Coach says Egypt played 'one of their best games' despite loss to Senegal

Hatem Maher, Saturday 15 Nov 2014
An Egyptian fan rallies fans for his national team before the their African Cup of Nations group G qualifying soccer match against Senegal at Cairo International Stadium in Cairo (Photo: AP)
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Egypt coach Shawky Gharib said he would not hand in his resignation after his side virtually lost hopes of reaching the African Cup of Nations, lauding their display in a 1-0 home loss to Senegal on Saturday.

An early goal from Mame Diouf following a dreadful blunder from goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy gave Senegal a deserved win against a lackluster Egyptian side who barely created any goal-scoring chances throughout the game despite being roared on by a passionate crowd at Cairo Stadium.

The result ensured Senegal would join Group G leaders Tunisia in next year's Nations Cup finals in Equatorial Guinea, with Egypt needing to beat Tunisia away from home in their last match to stand a chance of finishing as the best third-placed team among the seven groups, a target that looks highly unlikely.

Although the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) gave Gharib a vote of confidence before the defeat by Senegal, chairman Gamal Allam said his fate would be decided following the Tunisia encounter.

"I never took any decision to jump ship during my career. I will remain in charge of the national team unless the EFA decide otherwise," Gharib told reporters following another defeat by Senegal, who claimed a 2-0 win in Dakar in their opening Group G game.

Egypt appeared comfortable at the back but lacked any spark or imagination upfront, with Senegal's watertight defence restricting them to some tame efforts.

However, Gharib said he was pleased with the way Egypt had played.

"I think we produced one of our displays tonight. We wasted some chances, which would have changed the course of the game had we converted them," the 55-year-old added.

"The players lack experience and they played under pressure because of the presence of the fans."

Egypt have not qualified for the Nations Cup since lifting the last of their record seven trophies in 2010, missing out on the 2012 and 2013 editions.

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