Egypt can recover after Central Africa defeat, says optimistic coach Bradley

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 16 Jun 2012

The 3-2 defeat against Central Africa leaves Egypt in danger of not qualifying and need a big lead against Central African Republic; Coach Bradley is optimistic

Bob Bradley
Bob Bradley

Egypt American coach Bob Bradley insists that his team still has a chance to reach the 2013 African Nations Cup finals after Friday's stunning 3-2 home defeat against Central Africa in their opening qualifier.

Despite their recent outstanding start in the World Cup Qualifiers, defeating both Mozambique and Guinea, the Pharaohs paid the price for some defensive shortcomings and lost the home match. This hasn't been seen since the 2004 World Cup qualifiers, where the Pharaohs struggled during a highly competitve match in Egypt against Ivory Coast, only to lose 2-1.

"My players were very exhausted after Sunday's clash with Guinea, but I didn't expect that performance at all," Bradley said in the press conference after the match.

"We had many faults in the match but this is not our real level. We delivered good performances in other recent matches.

"The defeat is a harsh lesson for all of us to learn not to underestimate any team in the future," added Bradley.

Egypt, who won an unprecedented three, back-to-back Nations Cup titles between 2006 and 2010, are now in danger of missing out on the finals for the second tournament in a row, but Bradley is confident his team can recover.

They must win the second leg in Bangui on 30 June by two goals to progress.

"We still have a chance to recover in the return leg, like when we snatched a late win against Guinea. Our only target now is to win with a high score," concluded the former US coach.

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