Egypt's U23 national football team
fought hard to reach Tokyo's 2020 Olympics, according to coach Shawky Gharib, who promised to do his best to win a medal for the country in the Olympic Games.
The young Pharaohs defeated South Africa 3-0 on Tuesday to qualify for the U23 Nations Cup final and reach the Olympic Games for the 12th time.
"We did a lot of work for this achievement. The qualification to the Olympics is a gift for Egyptians," Gharid told beIN sports TV channel after the match.
"Every match has its own strategy. We managed to put pressure on South Africa's defence, which is the strongest in the tournament.
"I told the players in the break that we hadn't seen that number of fans in the stands since the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, and that we would qualify even if we die trying," he added, referring to the reportedly 70,000 supporters who were in the stands at Cairo Stadium on Tuesday.
Egypt will be facing Cote d'Ivoire in the Nations Cup final on Friday, with Ghana and South Africa battling it out in the third-place playoff, which will determine Africa's third representative in Tokyo.
"We achieved our first target [the qualification], and now is the time for the second one [the Nations Cup title]," said Gharib.
Egypt was aiming to book a place in Tokyo 2020 after the team missed the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Egyptian team last took part in the Olympic Games in 2012, reaching the quarterfinals before losing 3-0 to Japan in Manchester.
"I will do my best to win a medal at the Olympics like I did with Egypt's Youth team when we won the bronze in the 2001 World Cup," he concluded.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)