Egypt keeper El-Hadary apologises to fans after Russia loss

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jun 2018,
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Essam El-Hadary
Egypt's Essam El-Hadary (Photo: REUTERS)

Egypt’s veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary apologised to the fans for a disappointing 3-1 defeat by Russia on Tuesday that all but ended the team's World Cup campaign, saying that the players did their best against the hosts.

The Pharaohs collapsed in a 15-minute spell in the second half to suffer a second straight defeat that leaves them at the bottom of Group A with no points.

"I aplogise to all Egyptians for our defeat against Russia,” El-Hadary told beIN Sports after the game.

“All the players did their best in the tournament but this is football.

“We had all the desire to win the game to keep our hopes alive but, as I said, it is simply football.”

The 45-year-old, who is still waiting to become the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup, remained on the bench for the two defeats by Uruguay and Russia. He is expected to play against Saudi Arabia on Monday to beat the record of former Colombia keeper Faryd Mondragon, who was 43 when he took part in the 2014 finals in Brazil. 

Hadary said the team should be able to build on its recent successes rather than making "damaging" wholesale changes

Under the guidance of Argentinean coach Hector Cuper, the Pharaohs reached the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final after failing to qualify for the tournament three times in a row before ending a 28-year wait for a World Cup appearance.

“That team made many achievements and it is important to build on their success in the future,” he concluded.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports )

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