Egypt drawn with Nigeria, Sudan in African Nations Cup

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Aug 2021

The Pharaohs were drawn in Group D of the biennial tournament, which will run from 9 January to 6 February in Cameroon

Egypt team

Egypt will play Nigeria, Sudan and minnows Guinea-Bissau in their bid to win a record-extending eighth African Nations Cup after the draw was made in Cameroonian capital Yaounde on Tuesday.

The Pharaohs were drawn in Group D of the biennial tournament, which will run from 9 January to 6 February in Cameroon.

Egypt's toughest opponents are three-time champions Nigeria, who finished third in the 2019 edition that took place in Egypt.

Egypt met Nigeria twice in the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers, winning one match and drawing the other. In 2019, a few months before the Nations Cup got underway, Nigeria beat Egypt 1-0 in a friendly.

Sudan are making their first appearance in the tournament since reaching the quarters in 2012.

Egypt crushed Sudan 3-0 en route to their Nations Cup triumph in 2008 but the latter claimed a shock 4-0 victory in a friendly that was played a few months later, which marked their last meeting.

Guinea-Bissau, the rank outsiders in the group, were eliminated at the group stage on their previous two appearances in 2017 and 2019.

"It's not an easy draw, but it's balanced. All our opponents have made significant progress," Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry was quoted as saying by local media.

"I have the utmost confidence in the abilities of my players to live up to the expectations of our fans." 

Egypt are seeking to win their first crown since 2010 when they completed an unprecedented hat-trick of straight Nations Cup triumphs.

They lost 2-1 to Cameroon in the 2017 final but suffered an embarrassment on home soil two years later when they bowed out at the round of 16 after losing to South Africa.

"We are taking it one step at a time. For now, we are focusing on our next task in the World Cup qualifiers." 

Egypt open their World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Angola on 2 September before meeting Gabon away from home three days later.

The full Nations Cup draw:

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d'ivoire

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia  

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