Egypt’s key defender Hegazi out of AFCON 2021 due to injury

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 1 Feb 2022

Egypt’s key defender Ahmed Hegazi will be side-lined for the rest of the games of the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and will be missing Thursday’s anticipated semi-final clash against hosts Cameroon due to a muscle injury, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) announced late on Monday.

Egypt s defender Ahmed Hegazi (L) and Egypt s defender Omar Kamal (C) fight for the ball with Morocco s forward Sofiane Boufal (R) during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 quarter-final football match between Egypt and Morocco at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on January 30, 2022. (AFP)

The 31-year-old Ittihad Jeddah player was forced to leave the pitch in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Morocco in the quarter-final after sustaining an adductor muscle strain in the first half.

“Scans revealed that Hegazi is suffering from an adductor muscle strain that needs a specific rehabilitation programme. This means he won’t be able to continue in the tournament that will end on Sunday,” read a statement by the EFA.

The Pharaohs will also be missing in the game against the Indomitable Lions the services of first-pick goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi, who was injured in the last round of 16 game against Cote D’Ivoire last week.

Moreover, reserve keeper Mohamed Abu Gabal’s presence in the next game remains doubtful after departing the Morocco match with an injury as well.

Record seven-time African champions Egypt are seeking their first AFCON title since 2010, while Cameroon are seeking their sixth since their last win in 2017.

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