A depleted and wounded Egypt side will be looking for a morale-boosting win when they meet Oman in Muscat in a friendly game on Wednesday.
The Pharaohs are licking their wounds following a stunning failure to reach the African Nations Cup for the second consecutive tournament, having suffered a 4-3 aggregate defeat by minnows central Africa which sent shockwaves across Egypt and heaped pressure on coach Bob Bradley.
However, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) kept faith with the American boss after the team made a fine start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, beating Mozambique and Guinea in their first two games.
Egypt will not play any competitive game until next year when they face Zimbabwe in their third Group G game of the World Cup qualifiers. They have arranged several friendly games to prepare for the game, starting with Oman on Wednesday.
They will have to do without a host of regular players, given the African Champions League commitments of Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek who face Ghana’s Berekum Chelsea and DR Congo’s TP Mazembe respectively next weekend.
Ahly defender Wael Gomaa and midfielder Hossam Ashour were called up by Bradley because they would miss the Chelsea game through suspension.
The former United States boss sought to name four Zamalek players in his roster but the White Knights reacted angrily, saying they should be handed the same treatment Ahly got. The quartet eventually stayed with Zamalek.
Egypt’s squad includes five foreign-based players in Ahmed Ouka and Ahmed Samir Farag (Lierse, Belgium), goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary (Al-Merreikh, Sudan), winger Ahmed Elmohamady (Sunderland, England) and midfielder Hosni Abd-Rabou (Al-Nasr, Saudi Arabia).
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