Preview: Egypt eye second straight Olympics appearance via U-23 Nations Cup

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 Nov 2015

Hossam El-Badry's men will be looking forward to qualifing for the knockouts from a group that comprises Algeria, Nigeria and Mali

Egypt's Olympic team beat Cameroon in two friendly games ahead of the U-23 African Cup of Nations (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt will be eager to make it a second straight Summer Olympics appearance through the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations which kicks off on Sunday in Senegal.

Having qualified for the 2012 London Olympics after finishing third in the 2011 Morocco Cup of Nations - the inaugural edition of the continental tournament - the Pharaohs will be eyeing a similar top-three finish at the Senegal edition.

Egypt were drawn in Group B alongside Algeria, Nigeria and Mali. The top two will qualify for the semis of the eight-team tournament.

The national team, managed by ex-Ahly boss Hossam El-Badri, played two friendlies in preparation for the competition, having faced Cameroon twice in Sharm El-Sheikh where they emerged 2-1 and 4-0 winners.

Their 21-man squad includes five players from Ahly and four from league holders Zamalek. Foreign-based duo Ahmed Hassan Kouka and Amr Warda were left out after their clubs refused to let go of them.

Ahly's newly-signed  midfielder Saleh Gomaa was also left out having sustained a hamstring injury after being initially included in the squad.

Keeper Mosaad Awad, defense duo Rami Rabia and Mohamed Hani and plqy,qker Ramadan Sobhi were all included from Ahly.

From Zamalek, forward trio Mostafa Fathi and Mahmoud Kahraba and Mohamed Salem all made the squad as well.

Egypt open their campaign against Algeria on Sunday in M'Bour, before taking on Nigeria three days later in the same city.

The final, which takes place in Dakar, will be played on 5 December.

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