Pharaohs' striker crisis continues as Arab Contractors' Ali picks up injury ahead of eSwatini clash

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul, Tuesday 9 Oct 2018

Contractors striker Ahmed Ali (Al-Ahram)
Contractors striker Ahmed Ali (Al-Ahram)

Arab Contractors striker Ahmed Ali won’t be available for Egypt's first match in a double-header against eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, on Friday in the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers due to an injury, the Egyptian Football Association has said.

"Ali left the national team training camp after picking up a muscular strain in the opening training session on Monday. Medical scans revealed that he couldn't be available for eSwatini match," a Tuesday statement from the EFA read.

The Pharaohs are second in Group J with three points, three behind leaders Tunisia. They will host eSwatini in Cairo on Friday before facing them away four days later in the fourth round of the qualifiers.

A week ago, Pharoahs’ Mexican coach Javier Aguirre named 15 home-based players to join the 12 overseas-based ones who were called up previously for the twin encounters with eSwatini.

"Aguirre decided not to call an alternative for Ali," the EFA statement concluded.

Ali is the second player to be left out from the called-up squad; Ahly striker Salah Mohsen also won't be available after picking up an injury during his team's recent match against Algeria's ES Setif in the CAF Champions league.

Olympiacos striker Ahmed Kouka and Ahly attacker Marawan Mohsen are Aguirre’s only remaining options in the frontline.

Last month, Egypt hammered Niger in Alexandria to give Aguirre a winning start, after he replaced Argentinean boss Hector Cuper following a weak World Cup campaign this summer.

The top two in the group will qualify for next year's Nations Cup finals in Cameroon.

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