Uganda/Egypt: Cranes Can Hold Heads High After Losing to Pharaohs

0

\n

\n \n Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

\n Goalkeeper Essam El Hadary of Egypt during his team’s Afcon match against Mali on January 17.

\n

\n

Egypt’s coach, Hector Cuper, has leapt to the defence of his side following a scrappy 1-0 Group D victory over minnows Uganda on Saturday.

\n

The Pharaohs’ win eliminated their opponents from the competition and kept them on course for the African Nations Cup quarterfinals. But many Egyptian fans will be left worried this morning, as the side has certainly got nowhere near top gear in this tournament.

\n

A goal two minutes from time by substitute Abdallah El Said sealed the victory and left Egypt as heavy favourites to join Ghana in the knockout stages from this pool.

\n

They need just a draw in their final match against the Black Stars to seal their passage, and the only way they can be eliminated is if they lose to Ghana and Mali beat Uganda. That is certainly not inconceivable.

\n\n\n\n

“We did our best to play well, but things did not necessarily go as we wanted,” Cuper said. “It was hard on this pitch and in this climate, but we won and that’s what’s important.”

\n

The Argentine coach has continuously had to defend his side’s cautious approach and style of play, and did so again after the Uganda win.

\n\n\n

“Football not just about attack,” he said. “Like the defence, the attack should be organised as well. It’s not just about players pushing forward in a random manner. Every game has its special plan and strategy.”

\n

Uganda bow out on the back of two solid displays that ended in 1-0 defeats. They can hold their heads high, but there will be no dream quarterfinal ticket in their first tournament for 39 years.

\n

“We gave our all in both games. We played with our hearts and threw everything we had in us on the pitch. It is unfortunate that we lost against Ghana and Egypt. We were unlucky,” coach Milutin Sredojevic said.

\n

Uganda can restore some pride in their final clash of the tournament against Mali on Wednesday, and then turn their attention to the qualifiers for the 2019 tournament that start in June and the resumption of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in August.

\n

They have made a good start to their campaign to reach Russia, with a 0-0 away draw in Ghana and a 1-0 home success over Congo-Brazzaville.

\n\n

\r\n \r\n

You might also like

Leave a comment