Under the helm of coach Hany Ramzy, Egypt Olympic are set to face against Niger in the final 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday to prepare for their 2012 London Olympics qualifiers.
“We will make use of the Niger game as it will be a good preparation for the Olympics qualifiers,” Ramzy was quoted as saying on the CAF official site.
The Pharaohs’ hopes of reaching next year’s African Cup in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon are over as they are at the bottom of Group G with two points, seven behind leaders Niger and six points behind runners-up and third place South Africa and Sierra Leone respectively.
“I ask all the Egyptian supporters to crawl to the Cairo stadium to back the young players before starting the group stage of the Olympics qualifiers,” the Egypt tactician added.
Egypt captain and Zamalek’s new signing, midfielder Ahmed Hassan, was the only senior team player to take part in the Pharaohs’ squad for the Niger match.
Hassan, who was Ramzy’s Egypt teammate in the late 1990s and early 2000s, has 176 international caps, just two short of the record held by former Saudi Arabia keeper Mohamed Al-Deayea.
The Niger team needs to win the game against Egypt to improve their chance of leading the group and easing their way into the 2012 African Cup of Nations championship without paying attention to their foe’s result.
“We came to win, to not complicate our standing in the group,” Niger coach Haruna Douala said.
“Beating Egypt in Cairo Stadium is difficult but it is not impossible.”
Douala ruled out reports that Egypt won’t do their best in the game as they have no chance of reaching the championship due to their lack of points.
“Egypt is a big team and they know the fair play very well to save their reputations in the African football” he added.
On the other hand, Group G runners-up South Africa will host the third place side Sierra Leone also on Saturday and the duo are eager to get the upper hand as they are sharing the same amount of points.