Preview: Egypt eyeing second win over Libya to move closer to playoff

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Oct 2021

Egypt are out for a victory over Libya in Benghazi in Monday's clash, their second meeting in three days, to move closer to a place in the final two-legged playoff of the World Cup qualifiers.

Omar Marmoush
Omar Marmoush (R) scored Egypt's winner over Libya in their World Cup qualifying clash on Friday (Photo: the Egyptian FA s official Facebook page)

The Pharaohs settled their nerves when they secured a narrow 1-0 home victory over their North African neihbours on Friday, thanks to a second-half screamer from Stuttgart's on-loan winger Omar Marmoush, who was making his debut

The win saw Egypt overtake Libya with a one-point lead on top of Group F, with another victory likely to put them in pole position to obtain the group's solitary ticket to the playoff.

Egypt have seven points from three matches, with Libya on six, Angola on three and Gabon on one.

Libya proved a tough nut to track against Egypt in Alexandria, with their resolute defensive display restricting their illustrious opponents to a few goal-scoring chances throughout.

Javier Clemente's men will have to adopt a more adventurous approach on Monday though, with Egypt expected to rely on breakaways to grab another victory.

"Now that we are leading the group, we got to fight until the end to keep this position and move to the next step," Egypt's Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz said.

Marmoush, who was a surprise inclusion in Egypt's starting line-up for Friday's encounter, is likely to retain his place on the left, with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah occupying the other flank.

But the question is whether Queiroz will once again field veteran playmaker Abdallah El-Said and Galatasaray striker Mostafa Mohamed after both had underperformed in the first game.

Mohamed was guilty of spurning two clear-cut chances while age seemed to have taken its toll on the power of the 36-year-old El-Said, who seemed incapable of forging the kind of effective partnerships he used to have with Salah.

"I'm sure that Libya now only think about how to get back to the first position in the group, and this is normal … It will be a very tough game, for sure, like all World Cup games," Queiroz added.

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