Ahly's Afsha back in Egypt squad for Senegal World Cup playoff

Ahram Online , Saturday 19 Mar 2022

Ahly playmaker Magdi Afsha was recalled to Egypt's squad for a World Cup qualifying playoff against Senegal but there was no room for teammate Mohamed Sherif despite his fine goal-scoring run of late.

Magdi Afsha
File photo of Egypt and Ahly playmaker Magdi Afsha (Photo: the Egyptian Football Association s official Facebook page)

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz also included three new faces in his 23-man roster for the anticipated two-legged clash -- Ahly defender Yasser Ibrahim, Pyramids FC full-back Omar Gaber and midfielder Nabil Emad.

The trio was not there when Egypt made it to the final of the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon last month. Afsha was also absent, with reports suggesting that he could not fit in Queiroz's preferred 4-3-3 scheme.

After some below-par displays with Ahly, Afsha regained his form of late, dictating play in midfield as the Red Devils went top of the Egyptian Premier League table and moved within touching distance of a place in the African Champions League quarters.

Ahly striker Sherif, who was overlooked for the Nations Cup despite taking part in the FIFA Arab Cup in December, has also produced some impressive performances lately, scoring five goals in the last five appearances.

However, Queiroz opted to leave him out for the Senegal games, calling up instead Galatasaray striker Mostafa Mohamed and Smouha's Marwan Hamdi, both of whom were uninspiring during the Nations Cup.

Turkish-based striker Ahmed Kouka, who is on loan at Konyaspor from Greek side Olympiacos, was also overlooked.

Egypt will host Senegal in Cairo on 25 March before facing them in Dakar four days later as they eye a second successive World Cup appearance.

Senegal prevailed in the Nations Cup final, winning on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

Egypt's full squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawi (Ahly), Mohamed Abou-Gabal (Zamalek), Mohamed Sobhi (Pharco)

Defenders: Omar Kamal (Future FC), Omar Gaber (Pyramids FC), Yasser Ibrahim, Ayman Ashraf, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (Ahly), Mahmoud El-Wensh, Mahmoud Alaa, Ahmed Fattouh (Zamalek)

Midfielders: Hamdi Fathi, Amr El-Sulaya, Magdi Afsha (Ahly), Nabil Emad (Pyramids FC), Emam Ashour, Ahmed Zizo (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Omar Marmoush (Stuttgart, Germany), Mahmoud Trezeguet (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, England)

Strikers: Mostafa Mohamed (Galatasaray, Turkey), Marwan Hamdi (Smouha)

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