Write Egyptian football history with confidence, EFA president tells team

Eslam Omar , Tuesday 19 Jun 2018,
Egypt's players take part in a training session on June 18, 2018 in Saint Petersburg during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament AFP

Egyptian Football Association (EFA) president Hany Abu Rida met with the team on Monday night during their stay in St Petersburg, urging them to be confident and have no fear just one day ahead of the anticipated World Cup clash with hosting Russia on Tuesday.

"Don't ever be influenced by the host’s fans. Be confident. You are trusted by the association, fans and all Egyptians. You are writing Egyptian football history; so write it with confidence," Abu Rida told the players.

Egypt, who are playing their first World Cup in 28 years, are in a do-or-die stand off against Russia, after succumbing to Uruguay on Friday following Jose Maria Gimenez's killer header from a corner shot by Carlos Sanchez in the 89th minute. The hosts kicked off the tournament on Thursday with a thrilling 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

"You are able to defeat Russia to keep your hopes and Egypt’s hopes of qualifying for the second round alive," he added.

Abu Rida also highlighted that the participation of the team’s star Mohamed Salah, following his recovery from a recent shoulder injury, would definitely make a difference.

After delivering the best football season ever played by an Egyptian player – winning all of the individual English Premier League trophies – Salah’s shoulder was injured as he played for Liverpool at the UEFA Champions League final in Kiev, due to an unforgivable tackle by Real Madrid’s Spanish defender Sergio Ramos.

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)

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