Bradley's first year as Egypt coach marked by Georgia friendly

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 14 Nov 2012

Egypt’s friendly game against Georgia marks the completion of Bob Bradley’s challenging first year in charge of the Pharaohs

Bob Bradley
Egypt coach Bob Bradley (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt face Georgia in a friendly game on Wednesday as Coach Bob Bradley completes his first year in charge of the Pharaohs. The year has been a largely turbulent one for the American coach, as the team have been plagued by constant off-field problems.

Bradley led Egypt for the first time when they met Brazil in a high-profile friendly in November 2011, which the five-time world champions won 2-0.

Egypt initially looked promising under Bradley but they were forced to take their foot off the pedal following February’s Port Said tragedy, which left over 70 fans dead when Masry supporters confronted the visiting Ahly contingent, following the end of an ill-tempered Egyptian Premier League.

The country’s worst-ever football tragedy forced an indefinite suspension of domestic football activities, cancelling last season’s league in the process and casting doubts over whether the new competition will go ahead this term.

Suffering the dire consequences of football stoppage, Egypt dramatically failed to qualify for next year’s African Nations Cup finals in South Africa following a 4-3 aggregate defeat by minnows Central Africa.

However, they made a decent start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, winning their first two games to top their group but Bradley is still facing an uphill climb to prepare his side for their third match in March next year.

Egypt are restricted to friendly games, leaving Bradley scratching his head over how to identify new talents and call them up at a time when local clubs are idle.

The former United States manager insisted he intends to carry on and to steer Egypt to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

The seven-time African champions take on Georgia away from home without the players from Cairo giants Ahly, who will face Tunisia’s Esperance in an anticipated African Champions League final on Saturday.

The squad includes 10 foreign-based players, including Finland-based striker Sherif Ashraf who has earned a rare call-up.

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