Egypt U-20 coach Diaa El-Sayed believes his team is close to qualifying for the World Cup after their 1-0 win over Panama in the second round of the Group stage in Colombia early on Tuesday.
“We are at 80 per cent into the last, 16 round,” El-Sayed was quoted as saying by the Spanish news agency after the match.
Ismaily Central defender Ahmed Hegazy scored in the 67th minute to put the young Pharaohs on the summit of Group E, alongside Brazil with 4 points after two games. A 1-1 draw in the opener against the Selecao is the secret of today’s win, according to Egyptian team coach.
“I felt fear from Panama players: maybe because we drew with the heavyweights, Brazil, in the opener. I think their fear eased our mission and enabled us to create a lot of chances for a goal,” El-Sayed explained.
Egypt are now in a must-win situation to ensure they qualify for the coming round when they meet Austria this Friday. The Egyptian tactician voices his own fears about the game.
“Our players might be exhausted, and many of them received yellow cards, so I will ask them to commit fewer fouls,” the coach concluded.
On the other side, Panama coach Alfredo Poyatos also atttributes today’s defeat to psychological reasons, which he hopes to overcome before their match on Friday with Brazil.
“We played conservatively against the Egyptians who were physically stronger,” declared Poyatos whose team has a single point after two matches.
“Qualifying for round 16 is difficult, but not impossible. We will do our best. I am confident of my players’ abilities and we will concentrate on improving the team spirit before Brazil clash,” He concluded.