Soccer Football - African Nations Cup 2021 Qualifier - Egypt v Kenya - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - November 14, 2019 Egypt coach Hossam El Badry REUTERS
After a disappointing 1-1 draw by Kenya at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium on Thursday, Egypt national team coach Hossam El-Badry said his team was affected both by the absence of star winger Mohamed Salah and the lengthy suspension of the Egyptian Premier League.
Egypt started their 2021 qualifying campaign at home on Thursday by losing two easy points when they were held to draw with Kenya (108th in FIFA ranking) in the absence of both Liverpool's classy winger Mohamed Salah, who missed the game due to injury, and Pyramids FC star Abdallah El-Said, who was not called up for the game.
"Our performance will improve when Salah and Abdallah El-Said return to the squad and the fans should also return to stands," El-badry told the post game's press conference.
Egypt are now second in group G with a single point, two points behind leaders Comoros, who claimed a 1-0 away win over Togo earlier in the day. Egypt will face Comoros away from home on Monday.
The Egyptian Premier League was suspended for a month due to the participation of Olympic national team participation in the U23 Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place in Egypt from 8 - 22 November.
Also on Thursday, the Olympic team reached the U23 semifinals after achieving the full mark of 9 points from three games as the young Pharaohs made use of home and fans advantage and defeated Mali, Ghana and Cameroon respectively.
"We all witnessed the fans important rule on the Olympic team's run in the tournament," El-Badry said.
"We lost two points today but there is still a very long," he added.
"I expected to face difficulties as some players hadn't play since 24 October 24, and some of them played their last game on the 5th of October, like Ahly players," the Egypt national team coach added.
"The length of the league's suspension affected the team; moreover, there are foreign based players who don't play regularly with their teams,"
"I expect to make some changes in the squad for the Comoros game," El-badry added.
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