Egypt's Queiroz calls up two experienced defenders for critical away match against Senegal

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 26 Mar 2022

Egypt national team coach Carlos Queiroz called-up two experienced defenders, Pyramids FC's Ali Gabr, 33, and Ahly's Ramy Rabia, 29, for the Pharaohs’ away match against Senegal in the second leg of the 2022 Africa FIFA World Cup qualifying playoffs in Dakar on Tuesday.

Egyptian national team
Egyptian national team during a brief in the hotel Photo courtesy of Minister of Youth and Sports Facebook page.

The 69-year-old Portuguese tactician faces a dilemma ahead of the game in Dakar due to multiple shortages in the defence area as three of his first-choice defenders will miss the second leg game against Senegal in Dakar on Tuesday.

The Pharaohs starting centre back Ahmed Hegazi, 32, who missed game one against Senegal due to injury, is out for game two.

Egypt will also miss in Dakar the services of Ahly’s defender Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, 23, who broke his nose and left the pitch in the first half of the Pharaohs’ 1-0 narrow win over Senegal in the first leg in Cairo on Friday.

The Pharaohs will also have to do without Zamalek's Mahmoud El-Wensh, 26, who received his second yellow card in the same game.

Gabr, who has had 29 previous international appearances with the Pharaohs, is expected to be a replacement for centre back Abdel-Moneim.

Meanwhile, Rabia, who has had 23 previous international appearances with the Pharaohs, is expected to fill the gab left by El-Wensh's absence.

Gabr, a one-time Zamalek star - who was also a member in Egypt’s squad during the 2018 World Cup in Russia - made his last appearance with the Pharaohs in a friendly game against Liberia last year.

Rabia, who was part of the Egypt national team that qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, missed the African continental tournament in Cameroon due to a lengthy injury.

Abdel-Moneim, who has proved vital in the Pharaohs defence since making his debut at the last African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, underwent a surgery on his nose late on Friday.

The Pharaohs only need a draw with Senegal in Dakar to book a place in the FIFA World Cup that will take place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

Both the Lions of Teranga and the Pharaohs eye a second successive World Cup appearance.

Senegal reached the FIFA World Cup finals two times in 2002 and 2018, while Egypt made it to the prestigious tournament three times in 1934, 1990, and 2018.

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