Egypt U-20 coach Diaa El-Sayed was full of praise for his team after the 1-1 draw against heavyweights Brazil in the U-20 World Cup opener in Barranquilla early on Saturday.
“I would like to thank the supporters in Barranquilla who were marvellous and a source of inspiration for our players,” El-Sayed was quoted as saying by FIFA official website after the game.
“Practicing and swimming before the game was an instrumental key in our success against Brazil,” he added.
Despite seeing the four-time winners, Brazil, scoring early after only 12 minutes, the young Pharaohs were full of determination to prove their worth and just 14 minutes later Zamalek midfielder Omar Gaber scored the goal that put equalised the scoreboard.
“Our players are capable of leading us to win the world cup title and now we are looking towards the next match against Panama,” added El-Sayed.
El-Shennawy is ready for Panama
In the group E opener encounter, the Egyptian team was hit by the injury of goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy, who was substituted in the last minutes, but the player is ok and ready for the coming game on Tuesday.
“Although I was hit hard on my neck, it is not a serious injury and I am ready for the Panama clash,” the goalkeeper said after the game.
Brazilians praise the Egyptians
On the other side, Brazil’s coach Ney Franco admitted that his team wasn’t in its top form, but he is confident the Selecao will recover in the coming matches.
“We weren’t the best in controlling the game, while the Egyptians performance was outstanding. They were very organised and some players, like Mohamed Ibrahim and Mohamed Salah, are awaiting a bright future,” Franco said after the match.
“We didn’t win but it was the first game. We will be better in our next match with Austria and we are well-qualified to do so,” the coach concluded.