Egypt coach eyes strong performance against Croatia in Capital Cup final

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Mar 2024

Pharaohs coach Hossam Hassan said on Sunday that a win against Croatia would give his team a morale boost, emphasizing the importance of performing well against the World Cup third-placed side.

Egypt coach  Hossam Hassan
Egypt coach Hossam Hassan. Photo: EFA


Egypt will face Croatia in the Capital Cup final on Tuesday as they prepare for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In their tournament opener on Friday, the Pharaohs secured a 1-0 victory over New Zealand, while Croatia advanced to the final after defeating Tunisia on penalties the following day.

"The result against Croatia is important, but what matters most to me is beating them tactically and technically on the field., " Hossam Hassan told a news conference on Sunday.

" It's crucial to test our team against a strong side like Croatia, who finished third in the last World Cup and have players from top-flight clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United."

The newly appointed coach expressed satisfaction with the Pharaohs' performance against New Zealand, highlighting their successful implementation of his tactics against a quality opponent.

FC Nantes striker Mostafa Mohamed converted a penalty to secure the win.

Hassan emphasized that this tournament is a significant phase in the team's preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, scheduled to start next June.

As a result, he intends to field all his key players against Croatia, downplaying the requests from clubs participating in CAF Clubs competitions to rest their players for this friendly game.

Ahly, who have eight players in the Pharaohs squad, will face Simba of Tanzania away from home in the Champions League quarters on Friday.

Zamalek and Modern Future FC will also face off on Sunday in the same round but in the Confederation Cup.

"The Egyptian national team is more important than the clubs, and I want clubs to realize this fact," Hassan added

"I will play the game against Croatia with all my players. We have important games in the World Cup qualifiers, and we need to prepare well."

The 58-year-old manager confirmed that the team is facing difficulties due to the absence of key players such as Mohamed Salah, Ramadan Sobhi, Ahmed 'Zizo' Sayed, and Emam Ashour, who sustained a serious shoulder injury against New Zealand.

He acknowledged the limited preparation time and the loss of important players to injuries but expressed full confidence in the remaining players' abilities to fill the void.

When asked about his selections, Hassan concluded that any player who performs strongly with their club will have a chance to join the Pharaohs.

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