Preview: Egypt start new era with coach Hossam Hassan at Capital Cup vs New Zealand

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 21 Mar 2024

The Egypt national team, under the guidance of newly-appointed coach Hossam Hassan, will face New Zealand in the Capital Cup on Friday.



The international friendly tournmant, which features Egypt, New Zealand, Croatia, and Tunisia , will take place from 22nd to 26th March at the new state-of-the-art Egypt Stadium in the New Administrative Capital.

The winner of the Egypt and New Zealand game will face the winner of the match between Croatia and Tunisia in the final on Tuesday.

Originally slated to be held in the United Arab Emirates, the international friendly tournament was relocated to Egypt and redubbed the Egypt Capital Cup.

Coach Hossam Hassan, who took over as the Pharaohs' coach last month, will use the tournament to prepare the team for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Egypt is placed in Group A alongside Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Sierra Leone.

The Pharaohs qualifying campaign will commence on 3rd June with a home match against Burkina Faso followed by an away game against Guinea Bissau a week later.

"The tournament is very important for me and the team," stated Hossam Hassan during a news conference.

"We will be aiming for positive results and improved team performance to boost our confidence for upcoming commitments," he added.

No Mo!

The Capital Cup promises to provide an intriguing contest as the Pharaohs kick-start a new era under the guidance of Hossam Hassan.

However, Egypt will compete in the international friendly tournament without their star player and skipper Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah.

Both Salah and his club have requested his exclusion from the squad to prioritize his recovery from a recent injury.

"Salah's exclusion from the final squad came after a request from the player and his club, as he prefers to focus on his recovery and train with Liverpool," explained Hossam Hassan in a press conference.

In addition to missing Salah, Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny was also excluded from the Egypt squad due to lack of playing time with the Gunners.

However, Trabzonspor winger Mahmoud 'Trezeguet' Hassan, Eintracht Frankfurt winger Omar Marmoush, and Nantes striker Mostafa Mohamed all earned spots in the team.

Friday's friendly game will be attended by 30,000 supporters.

New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley said the game against Egypt represents a challenge for his team.

"The tournament is a great chance for my players as we will face strong teams like Egypt, Tunisia, and Croatia," said Bazeley in an interview with ON Time Sports TV channel.

"We are looking forward to playing in front of a large number of supporters in a fantastic stadium," he added.

However, Bazeley expressed his disappointment over the absence of Mohamed Salah.

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