July 5, 2022

AFCON 2021: Egypt are always favourites – Al-Sayed

By Brian Aheebwa
Egypt's Mohammed Salah celebrates their qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final after defeating Cameroon 3-1 on penalties | CAF Image

Egypt are the record holders of the Africa Cup of Nations with seven titles and assistant head coach Diaa Al-Sayed believes they’re always favourites to win the tournament every time it gets to be played.

The Pharaohs ejected hosts Cameroon 3-1 in post-match penalties, following a goalless draw after extra time in the semifinals at Olembe Stadium on Thursday, to reach the 2021 AFCON final.

However, Egypt head coach Carlos Queiroz refused to turn up for the post match press conference after he was sent off during the game and was represented by his assistant Al-Sayed.

“Each time, the Egyptian team are favourites to win the tournament. Tonight we played the usual game and we managed to reach the final,” Al-Sayed said in the post match press conference.

“I can also add that our good performance is also due to the presence of one of the great players in our training, Mohamed Salah. A very essential player in our team who remains the centrepiece for us.”

“I would like to thank our coach Carlos Queiroz as well as all the players who made the difference throughout the tournament. We are happy, it’s true, but we have not yet reached the final objective; the coronation,” he added.

The North Africans had a hero in goalkeeper Mohamed Gabaski after he saved James Lea Siliki and Harold Moukoudi’s penalties while Clinton Njie shot wide.

Egypt’s Ahmed Mostafa commonly known as Zizo, Ahmed Abdelmonem and Mohanad Lasheen converted their spot kicks while only captain Vincent Aboubakar scored for Cameroon.

The Pharaohs will now face Senegal in the final at Olembe Stadium on Sunday, the latter eliminated Burkina Faso in the semifinals and are searching for their maiden AFCON triumph.

Egypt will be without head coach Queiroz and one of his assistants Roger de Sa, the former was sent off against Cameroon while the latter was banned for four games for using an obscene gesture during their game against Morocco.

Queiroz’s other assistant in Al-Sayed will be in the dugout for the record holders in the final game of the tournament.

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