Egypt vs Ghana vox pops: Egyptians don't believe in miracles

Ahram Online, Monday 18 Nov 2013

Ahram Online ask Egyptians about their expectations for Egypt's game against Ghana on Tuesday, 19 November, and if the Pharaohs can overturn their thrashing to reach the World Cup finals

Ghana
A soccer fan reacts after Egyptian soccer captain Wael Gomaa (on screen) scored an own goal during their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ghana, on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Toukh, El-Kalubia governorate, about 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Cairo October 15, 2013(Photo:Reuters)

Beating Ghana? We could have thought of it in another time. But now everything is politics and the players have their minds also focused in politics, not in sports as it should be. We saw the debate around (Ahmed) Abdel-Zaher after the CAF Champions League final, when he flashed the Rabaa four-fingered sign. That is not a spirit in a team or even in a football environment seeking success.
- Alaa Rasmi, an accountant

I heard people and commentators say that the Ghanaians used black magic to affect our players and win the game. It may be true because I never saw the team playing that badly. We must be prepared to counter them if they're trying to repeat the same thing in Egypt. I would like us to play a very good game and beat them, so we could regain a little of our self. Although I think five goals is difficult, especially that they are a very good team.
- Ahmed Abdallah, security guard

Yes, we can beat them but not with five goals. I don’t think any team — neither Barcelona themselves — can beat Ghana five zero now. The players themselves are being realistic about it and many of them announced it in public to avoid giving the fans any false hopes. But I believe they all want to correct their image, especially the ones who are quitting after the game, like Mohamed Abou-Treika and Wael Gomaa. I think a 2/3 zero win would be consoling and satisfying. We were eliminated after the 6-1 defeat. It is something that Ghana can’t repeat if they play us 100 times.
- Mohamed Farouk, technical engineering

Of course not. We cannot beat them 5-0. It will be a very contested game. I would say 60-40 percent. We will watch goals. The scoreline will be 2-1, maybe 3-2. What’s sure is that we will score goals but we will also concede some. We will be rushing out to attack and will have empty spaces at the back and with our slow defenders, it is sure that they will hit us on counters. If we want to have a comfortable win we need to be very concentrated and I didn’t see any team do that since Ahly in the final of the African Champions League against Esperance in 2012 (Ahly won 2-1 in Tunisia).
- Ahmed Khairi, factory worker

I can't believe that there are many people who still believe we can make it to the World Cup. This is simply out of question; we are not going to play in Brazil. End of story!
- Samir Metwally, merchant

Winning the match is very important, not because we will reach the World Cup, but in order to restore pride after the first-leg defeat. The match in Kumasi doesn't reflect the real standard of Egyptian players, who were not at all lucky that day. Ghana are a strong and perfect team with a lot of high-quality European-based players.
- Mahmoud El-Khatib, former Egypt and Ahly player

The return leg will just be an occasion for the national team to take revenge after their defeat, but it won't be an obstacle in Ghana's path to the World Cup
- Hassan El-Mestekawy, sports editor

Call me crazy but I still believe we have good chances of beating Ghana and reaching the World Cup. We suffered a crashing defeat in Kumasi, in a very unusual day, and we want to prove it wrong. We still have 90 minutes and it will be eleven against eleven on the pitch.
- Egypt assistant coach Diaa Al-Sayed

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