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Examining new faces is important than the result against Niger: Egypt coach

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Mar 2019
Javier Aguirre
Egypt coach Javier Aguirre (R) with the other technical staff members ahead of Niger game (Photo: EFA's official twitter account)

Egypt coach Javier Aguirre says giving the chance for new faces in the African Nations Cup qualifier against Niger was more important for him than the result itself.

Egypt's perfect run under the Mexican Aguirre came to an end when a weakened side conceded a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Niger in the last round qualifiers on Saturday.

"Sure I wanted to win the match despite the fact that the result wasn't influential," Aguirre said in the press conference after the match.

Already qualified virtue of their point tally before being granted the hosting rights of the 21 June-19 July Nations Cup, Egypt finished second in Group J with 13 points, three behind leaders Tunisia.

The draw against Niger marked the first time Egypt have failed to win since Aguirre took over following an embarrassing World Cup campaign under his predecessor, Hector Cuper.

The Mexican boss oversaw four straight wins in the Nations Cup qualifiers before the stumble in N'Djamena.

"My main target was to examine new faces through giving them the chance against Niger; a game that we played in difficult weather conditions," Aguirre added.

Aguirre gave debuts to Pyramids duo Ahmed Mansour and Nabil Emad and Ittihad's on-loan youngster Ammar Hamdi, as well as introducing other fresh faces such as Ahly right-back Mohamed Hani and midfielder Amr El-Sulaya.

The likes of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah and West Bromwich defender Ahmed Hegazy were rested.

The Pharaohs next host Nigeria on Tuesday in their first warm-up for the Nations Cup, which they are seeking to win for the first time since lifting the last of their record seven trophies in 2010.

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