Egypt s Forward Mohamed Salah fights for the ball during the match with Nigeria on Friday 23 September, 2022. Photo courtesy of EFA Facebook page.
The Niger friendly was the first test for the 52-year-old Portuguese who took charge of the Egyptian national team in July after the sacking of coach Ehab Galal last April.
“I was very pleased with their discipline in the field and we implemented many of the ideas we worked on in the training camp in the last five days,” Vitoria told the post-match press conference.
“Today's match is the start of a new challenge. It is true that we did not appear 100 percent in perfect shape but all of the players performed very well,” he said.
The players reacted well in pressing and in cutting the ball and also in creating spaces on the flanks against our opponent who played with a defensive strategy, Vitoria added.
"I am very pleased with the performance of Mahmoud Hamada tonight," Vitoria lauded the 28-year-old Farco FC defender who made his first ever international appearance against Niger.
"I am bewildered how a player like Hamada with a strong calibre and abilities was overlooked by previous coaches," Vitoria said.
The Pharaohs are set to play a second and last friendly during the current international break against Liberia on Tuesday.
Vitoria expressed during the press conference his shock that CAF would schedule a game for a local team in a continental competition in the middle of an international break.
Zamalek duo Ahmed ‘Zizo’ Sayed and Mahmoud ‘El-Wensh’ Hamdi, who both started against Niger on Friday, had to leave the camp in Alexandria immediately after the Niger game to play against FC Elect Chad in the African Championship on Sunday but will return in time for the Liberia game on Tuesday.
“I have never faced a situation like this strange scheduling amid an international break during my 20 years as a coach," he told the post-match presser.
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