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Egypt coach satisfied despite friendly loss to Nigeria

"Our players restored the balance quickly and were a stiff opponent for the hosts," said Aguirre

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 27 Mar 2019
Javier Aguirre
Egypt coach Javier Aguirre with team skipper Mohamed Elneny during the press conference after Tuesday's 1-0 friendly loss to Nigeria (Photo: EFA's official facebook page)

Egypt's Mexican tactician Javier Aguirre is satisfied with the team's performance despite Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Nigeria.

The Pharaohs were hosted by the Super Eagles in a friendly match in Asaba amid the preparations of both teams for this summer's African Nations Cup.

"The whole match was a balanced one, except the early few minutes that witnessed the goal," Aguirre said in the press conference after the match.

Fans in the Stephen Keshi Stadium had barely taken their seats when towering striker Paul Onuachu blasted home an unstoppable volley less than eight seconds after the kick-off in one of the few highlights of a dour affair.

"Our players restored the balance quickly and were a stiff opponent for the hosts," explained Aguirre.

"I am happy with this serious experience against a big team. We benefited from the match after exmaini9ng new faces amid our strategy to inject new blood into the squad ahead of the African Cup," he concluded.

The Egyptian team is due to play three other friendly matches in final preparations before the competition, which is scheduled to take place 21 June to 13 July.

Egypt was granted the tournament's hosting rights in January after Cameroon was stripped of those rights in December. The Pharaohs are seeking to win the prestigious title for the first time since winning the last of their record seven trophies in 2010.

Egypt, who have already booked a place in Africa's flagship tournament with one match to spare, finished second in Group J of the qualifiers with 13 points, three behind leaders Tunisia.

With Aguirre at the helm, Egypt have won all except one of the qualifier matches: crushing Niger 6-0, defeating eSwatini 4-1 at home and 2-0 away, and beating Tunisia 3-2, before Saturday's 1-1 draw against Niger in the final round.

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