July 5, 2022

AFCON 2021: Egypt’s ‘impossible wish’ is to have the final pushed by a day

By Brian Aheebwa
Egyptian players celebrate their triumph over Cameroon in the semifinals of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations | CAF Image

Egypt reached the final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations after ejecting hosts Cameroon 3-1 on penalty shootouts, following a goalless draw after extra time of the semifinal played at Olembe Stadium on Thursday.

Upon making it the last two of the tournament, the Pharaohs’ assistant head coach Diaa Al-Sayed has requested CAF to push their final against Senegal who eliminated Burkina Faso from Sunday to Monday.

“I ask CAF that the final be played on Monday,” Al-Sayed said after the game representing head coach Carlos Queiroz who refused to come to the presser after he was sent off during the game.

“There is one more day of recovery for Senegal and I hope that, as we have advanced to the final, the match for third place, should also be played on Monday,” Al-Sayed added.

CAF pulled the third place playoff a day back from Sunday to Saturday but the Egyptian believes both games should happen on Monday.

In the past edition of 2019 in Egypt, the semifinals were played on the same date but this time around it was not the case, as they were played on different dates that is Wednesday and Thursday.

Senegal finished their semifinal with Burkina Faso in the 90 minutes on Wednesday, thanks to a 3-1 victory and that has been the case for them so far – they are yet to play extra time.

On the other hand, Egypt have played extra time in all their knockout games and as a result, they must be fatigued.

Against Ivory Coast and Cameroon in the round of 16 and semifinals respectively, they played up to penalties while they saw off Morocco in extra time in the quarterfinals.

The seven time AFCON winners will be without head coach Carlos Queiroz who was sent off against Cameroon and one of his assistants Roger de Sa who is banned for four games after he used obscene gestures during their game against Morocco.

Al-Sayed will therefore be the man on the touchline as Egypt hunts for its maiden AFCON trophy since 2010.

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