Colombia 2011: Egypt U-20 players refuse to break fast during Argentina clash

Hatem Maher, Saturday 6 Aug 2011

Egypt's U-20 players insist on fasting during their anticipated World Cup round of 16 clash against Argentina

Egypt U-20 team

Egypt U-20 players won't break their fast when they meet six-time winners Argentina in the World Cup round of 16 on Tuesday, according to coach Diaa El-Sayed.

The young Pharaohs will lock horns with Argentina in a tough tie on the ninth day of Muslims' holy month of Ramadan, during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk.

"All the players are refusing to break their fast. We will not oblige them to do anything, they are free to fast or not," El-Sayed, under whom Egypt finished second in Group E with seven points from three games to qualify for the knockout phase, said on Saturday.

Egypt, whose best ever position was a third-place finish in the 2001 World Cup, will meet Argentina for the fourth time in a decade.

Argentina humiliated Egypt with a 7-1 group-stage win in 2001 before eliminating them two years later following a hard-fought 2-1 victory in round 16. Argentina also beat Egypt 2-0 in 2005, thanks to two goals from Lionel Messi and Pablo Zabaleta.

"The players are very ambitious. They are determined to overcome Argentina and qualify for the quarter finals," El-Sayed added.

"We have already begun preparations for this match. We will play with the same formation and the tactics we applied in the opening 1-1 draw with Brazil.

"We will be looking to keep at bay Argentina's key players. We will do our best to win and give Egyptian fans something to cheer about."

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