Egypt s coach Shawky Gharib looks on during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men s quarter-final football match between Brazil and Egypt at Saitama Stadium in Saitama on July 31, 2021 (AFP)
Egypt have every reason to be optimistic about the future of its senior national team despite the U23 side's elimination at the hands of Brazil in the quarter-final of the Olympic Games on Saturday, coach Shawky Gharib said.
The Pharaohs were outplayed by a vibrant Brazil side, who claimed a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory to reach the semi-final and continue their bid towards a second consecutive gold medal.
For Egypt, it was the disappointment of the manner in which they lost rather than the defeat itself.
They were no match to the mighty Brazilians, failing to shackle lively Everton forward Richarlison and mustering little efforts at the other end. Egypt were even lucky to escape with a 1-0 loss.
However, Gharib believes his side have done well on their first appearance since the 2012 Games in London, where they also bowed out in the quarters after a 3-0 loss to Japan.
"This group of players will lead the senior national team," he told beIN Sports after the game.
"We could have produced a better display, but we must bear in mind that we played four strong matches in the space of nine days."
Egypt booked a last-eight berth after finishing second in a tough group that included heavyweights Spain and Argentina as well as Australia.
They went through at the expense of Argentina due to their better goal difference, joining leaders Spain in the knockout stage. Egypt's best outcome at the Olympics was a fourth-place finish in the 1964 edition in Tokyo.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)