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Egypt's lack of firepower worries Gharib ahead of crucial clash

Ahram Online, Wednesday 22 Oct 2014
Shawky Gharib
Egypt's coach Shawky Gharib (L) stands next to team director Ahmed Hassan (2nd L) during their African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match against Tunisia in Cairo September 10, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt coach Shawky Gharib said on Wednesday he was worried over his side's lack of firepower upfront as they prepare for a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier at home to Senegal next month.

The Pharaohs must beat Senegal in Cairo on 15 November to stand a chance of reaching next year's Nations Cup finals in Morocco but the lack of a reliable out-and-out striker may prove a hindrance in the make-or-break game.

Egypt scored four goals in two 2-0 victories over Botswana but only one of their frontment was on target - Ahly's Amr Gamal who netted the opener in the home win of a double-header.

Egypt's leading clubs have been equally struggling to deliver in the final third in domestic competitions, leaving Gharib with little options in the remaining two Group G games against Senegal and away to Tunisia.

"We are suffering from the lack of options upfront. I hope we can make up for that soon," the former Smouha boss, best known for steering Egypt to a third-place finish at the U-20 World Cup in 2001, said in a television interview.

"There is still room for new players to join the national team in the coming period. The Egyptian Premier League can still yield excellent players who might be very useful."

Egypt, who haven’t qualified for the Nations Cup since lifting the last of their record seven trophies in 2010, lie third in their group with six points, one behind Senegal and three adrift of leaders Tunisia with two matches remaining.

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