Egypt U-20s will qualify from 'group of death' at African Championship, says coach

Ahram Online, Wednesday 13 Mar 2013

Rabie Yassin says Egyptian youth team are determined to qualify for African Championship semifinals despite tough competition in group stage

Rabie Yassin
Egypt U-20 coach Rabie Yassin (photo: Ahram)

Egypt face a tough challenge to qualify from Group A at the under-20s African Championship, coach Rabie Yassin has said.

The tournament takes place between 16 and 30 March in Algeria.

"It will be really tough to meet three powerful opponents in the 'group of death' – hosts Algeria, three-time winner Ghana and former winner Benin who eliminated a strong Ghana side in the qualifiers," Yassin was quoted as saying in Al-Ahram's weekly sports magazine on Wednesday.

Yassin said he started preparations for the competition four years ago and the team is determined to reach the semifinals in order to qualify for the World Cup.

"We won the trophy twice [1991 and 2003] and we will not be easy prey for our rivals despite our current difficult circumstances," he added.

Egyptian football was halted for around a year after the Port Said stadium riots that left 72 Ahly fans dead at a match with Masry in February 2012.

Read more about the case here.

"I watched over 800 players. The squad cannot be better. We will depend on one striker, Omar Bassam of Ahly and support from good attacking midfielders Ahmed Samir (Dakhleya), Ahmed Refaat (ENPPI), Amir Adel (Feyenoord) and Saleh Gomaa (ENPPI)," Yassin said.

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