Preview: Egypt need to up attacking game against Argentina in Olympics

Egypt's game against Argentina kicks off at 09:30 Cairo time (07:30 GMT) on Sunday

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Jul 2021
Egypt s players gather at the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men s group C first round footba
Egypt s players gather at the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men s group C first round football match between Egypt and Spain at Sapporo Dome in Sapporo on July 22, 2021. AFP

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Egypt's U23 football team will need to sharpen up their attacking game when they meet Argentina in their second Group C match of the Olympic Games on Sunday to build on a surprise opening draw with Spain.

The Pharaohs nullified the threat of a star-studded Spain side to hold the European heavyweights to a 0-0 draw on Thursday.

Argentina slumped to a shock 2-0 loss to Australia and Egypt will be keen to rub salt into their wounds with a victory to take a giant stride towards a place in the quarter-final.

"The result against Spain was a fair reflection of the game and we are looking forward to doing better against Argentina," Egypt coach Shawky Gharib said following the goalless draw with Spain.

"We have the ambition to go very far in the tournament."

Egypt deployed an ultra-defensive strategy against a Spanish side that featured the likes of Mikel Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio and Pedri, restricting them to a few goal-scoring opportunities throughout the game.

However, Gharib will probably need to alter his strategy against Argentina or at least try to hit them on the break after his shy counter-attacking attempts against Spain yielded no results, with Egypt failing to create any chances.

Gharib could be tempted to tweak with his starting line-up after Pyramids FC Ibrahim Adel winger looked lively when he came off the bench in the second half against Spain.

He can also introduce playmaker Nasser Maher to provide a much-needed link in midfield, with Egypt's two wingers and lone striker appearing isolated against Spain.

"We spoke in the dressing room after the draw with Spain to underline the importance of maintaining our good start and doing even better against Argentina," said towering defender Ahmed Hegazy, who is one of the three over-age players in Egypt's squad.

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