For Egypt, March's qualifying playoff is as important as World Cup: Queiroz

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Nov 2021

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz reiterated that his priority is qualifying the team to the World Cup, saying on Sunday that March's final two-legged playoff is as important as the tournament itself.

Carlos Queiroz
Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz speaks during the news conference (Photo: the Egyptian Football Association s Facebook page)

The Pharaohs qualified for the playoff with one match to spare in Group F after coming from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Angola in Luanda on Friday.

The draw gave Egypt an unassailable four-point lead over Gabon before both sides meet in a dead-rubber on Tuesday.

"The World Cup is the most important of all tournaments. For us, the World Cup is in March, not December," Queiroz told reporters, referring to the winter timing of the 2022 Qatar finals.

"I'm happy to shoulder the responsibility of qualifying to the World Cup. It's the sixth qualifiers for me and it would be a personal achievement for me if I qualify to the World Cup for a fifth time."

Queiroz, under whom Egypt defeated Libya home and away before drawing with Angola, once again said the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup and African Nations Cup will be a good opportunity to prepare for the March playoff.

Egypt will play in Group D of the Arab Cup along with Algeria, Lebanon and Sudan. The tournament takes place from 30 November to 18 December.

The Pharaohs were also drawn in Group D of the biennial Nations Cup along with Nigeria, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

"The Arab Cup represents a phase of our preparations, but we will also be looking to win our games. We are also definitely looking to win the Nations Cup, but the World Cup remains the most important," Queiroz added.

"My aim is to make Egypt the number one team in Africa. I will be happy if I see other teams fear being paired with Egypt come March's playoff."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: