Losing against South Africa is not logical, says Egypt coach

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 4 Jun 2011

Just hours before the much-anticipated game against South Africa, Egypt’s coach Hassan Shehata is optimistic about their chances of beating Bafana Bafana in Cairo

Hassan Shehata

While acknowledging that the game will not be easy, Egypt’s coach Hassan Shehata is confident of his players’ abilities to defeat South Africa in their crucial 2012 African cup of nations qualifier on Sunday.

“It is not logical that the defending champions, Egypt, will not qualify for the finals,” Shehata was quoted as saying by Al Ahram daily newspaper on Saturday.

“We will bear in mind the memory of being the tournament champions for the last three successive editions. We will do our best in the field to defend Egypt’s reputation and also to regain confidence in ourselves,” the 61-year old coach added.

Egypt, who lay at the bottom of the Group G table with a single point behind South Africa (seven), must win to keep alive their hopes of playing in the finals, hosted in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Shehata refused to enter a war of words with South Africa's coach Pisto Mosimane who recently seemed confident of winning the Pharaohs clash, adding, “They are the group leaders and we know that they need only one point to qualify, but we will prove our worth on the pitch”.

The presence of legions of Egyptian supporters at the military stadium in Cairo will be a key factor in helping them wim the game according to  former Zamalek star, Shehata.

Egypt struggled during the first leg in South Africa when they were stunned by a 1-0 defeat, but Shehata promises this time will be different.

“We didn’t prepare well for the first leg as all football activities had been halted in Egypt after the January 25 revolution.

“Now the matter is totally different as the players have regained their fitness following the resumption of the domestic league and also as we had a perfect training camp in Ismailia,” the coach concluded.

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