Egypt's Cuper thinking only Congo - not Ghana or Uganda - for World Cup qualification

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 1 Oct 2016

Egypt coach Cuper during Saturday's press conference (Photo: official website of Egyptian Football Association(EFA) )

Egypt's coach Hector Cuper said he is not thinking of the later Ghana or Uganda clashes in  the 2018 World Cup qualifier, stressing he sees nothing at the moment but the anticipated away match against Congo next week.

"Our full concentration is only on the Congo match," the Argentine coach said in a press conference on Saturday.

"We want to win in Congo and return with three points," he added.

Egypt kicks off its World Cup qualifying campaign against Congo on 9 October.

In June, World-Cup-hungry Egypt were drawn in a tight group at the qualifiers' final round alongside Ghana, Congo and Uganda.

The Pharaohs will hold a camp from 1 to 7 October in Alexandria with all named players to prepare for the coming game against Congo.

"I am not worried about the goalkeeping position since we have now the best goalkeepers in Egypt; Essam El-Hadary, Ahmed El-Sehnawy, Sherif Ekramy and Ali Lotfi. They are all good keepers," said the former Valencia coach.

Last week, Cuper announced a 24-man squad for the Congo match; ruling out famous names like Ahly and Zamalek stars Hossam Ghaly and Shikabala.

"I didn't call Ghaly for technical reasons not disciplinary ones. I keep following Shikabala whose performance is getting better but we have other players in his position so we didn't call him," the coach explained.

"I am the only one who is responsible for players' selection and I do that according to my needs in every game."

"Those who say that I depend only on AS Roma player Mohamed Salah in all matches are wrong since Egypt's team plays to win through collective efforts," Cuper concluded.

Seven-time African champions, Egypt have made only two World Cup appearances in their history, both in Italy in 1934 and 1990.

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