Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly (Photo: Reuters)
Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly returned to Egypt's fold after manager Hector Cuper had called up nine players from the Reds for the double-legged World Cup second-round qualifiers against Chad on 14 and 17 November.
Ex-Tottenham midfielder Ghaly makes his Egypt comeback after a long period following his recent convincing displays for Ahly, including a commanding performance in the 3-2 Super Cup win over arch-rivals Zamalek.
After including five foreign-based Egyptians and 10 Zamalek players, the Argentine boss had to wait until Thursday’s Egyptian league game between Ahly and Maqassa to complete the list.
Despite being handed their first defeat of the season after losing 1-0 to Maqassa, who finished fourth in the league last season, nine players from the Reds were selected – with skipper Hossam Ghaly topping the list.
Centre-half trio Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Naguib and Saad Samir all made the cut, alongside keeper Sherif Ekramy, after keeping three consecutive clean sheets in the league.
Full-back Sabri Rahil was also named, while veteran right-back Ahmed Fathi was omitted after failing to impress of late.
Aside from holding midfielder Ghaly, attacking Ahly midfield duo Abdallah El-Saied and Moemen Zakareya were also chosen by Cuper.
In the team’s attack, Amr Gamal was the only Ahly striker included as there was no place for veteran hitman Emad Meteb, whose stoppage-time header earned his side a hard-fought 1-0 league win over a resilient Petrojet side.
Ramadan Sobhi, who was left out of the Maqassa defeat, was similarly ruled out of the Egypt fold despite featuring in the 5-1 away win to Chad in the CAN qualifiers in September.
Egypt opens their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign against Chad away from home on 14 November before hosting the African minnows three days later.
The winners of the double-legged second-round qualifiers will directly qualify for six four-team groups, whose winners make it to the World Cup in Russia.
Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shennawi, Sherif Ekramy, El-Mahdi Soliman
Defenders: Hazem Emam, Omar Gaber, Ahmed Hegazy, Saad Samir, Mohamed Naguib, Ahmed Dwidar, Sabri Rahil, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi
Midfielders: Hossam Ghaly, Tarek Hamed, Ibrahim Salah, Mohamed Elneny, Abdallah El-Saied, Moemen Zakareya, Amr Warda
Forwards: Mohamed Salah, Mahmoud Kahraba, Ahmed Hassan 'Koka', Bassem Morsi, Ahmed Hassan Mekki, Amr Gamal
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