Ghana had better possession but we deserved to win, says Egypt coach Cuper

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Nov 2016

Egypt coach Hector Cuper (File photo: Ahram)

Egypt's coach Hector Cuper believes his side deserved their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ghana despite gifting their opponents too much possession, saying a victory was more important than performance.  

The Pharaohs made a significant stride in their bid to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1990 after defeating Ghana 2-0 in Alexandria on Sunday.

Roma's winger Mohamed Salah converted a penalty two minutes before the break and Abdallah El-Said made it 2-0 four minutes from time, helping Egypt go top of Group E with six points, five clear of main challengers Ghana. Uganda lie second on four points.

''We played a good game and I'm very happy that we were able to win," Cuper told a post-match news conference.

"We played against a strong team that includes many stars. Patience and balance were the key to our victory. We knew that the Ghanaian team will play an offensive game.

"We had to play with a balanced strategy in this crucial clash and I think we achieved our target," he added. 

Cuper explained his strategy in the second half of the game, saying he relied on breakaways to kill off the match. 

A late counter attack saw El-Said swivel and hit a low shot into the bottom corner from inside the area to seal a valuable win. 

"We gave possession to the Ghanaian team in the second half and we relied on the counters that were very effective," the former Inter Milan and Valencia boss said. 

Asked by a Ghanaian journalist if he believes that  Egypt had gained a considerable advantage after Sunday's win, Cuper said that his side must not be carried away. 

"There are four matches remaining in the group and everything could happen.  We have to focus on the coming games to continue our winning run.''

Egypt next face Uganda in two home and away matches in 2017. 

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