Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary (Reuters)
Egypt goalkeeper and skipper Essam El-Hadary said that he and all his teammates are determined to beat Ghana and take another stride towards a place at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
The Pharaohs will go five points clear of main challengers Ghana if they beat them in Sunday's Group E match at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium.
"We consider Ghana's match as the first match of the qualifiers. All the players are focused on this game, which is the most important for the whole country," the 43-year old goalie was quoted as saying on the Egyptian FA website.
Egypt have made the last of their two World Cup appearances in 1990 in Italy.
They opened their Group E campaign with a comeback 2-1 victory at Congo while Ghana were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Uganda.
"We need the support of the media and all people to help us achieve our dream. The players are in a great form and everyone wants to play but we are all working for the team. It comes first," he added.
El-Hadary, a four-time African champion, is expected to start between the sticks as regular first-choice keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi has suffered a dip in form with Zamalek, with the club relegating him to the bench as a result.
Egypt started their training camp on Monday in Alexandria, with all foreign-based players arriving at the camp following their European weekend matches.