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Egypt's senior team resume training for Guinea tie
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 03 - 06 - 2012

CAIRO - Bob Bradley, the technical coach of Egypt's senior football team, was delighted with the Pharaohs' first win in the group phase of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup. He has decided to give the players two days' rest, prior to resuming training Monday in readiness for playing Guinea away from home on June 10 in the World Cup qualifiers.
On Friday night, they beat Mozambique 2-0 behind closed doors in Alexandria, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.
"Beating Mozambique match was something that around 90 million Egyptians were waiting for," Bradley said.
“Before the game, I told the lads that, whenever you see empty seats in Borg el-Arab Stadium, just think of the millions of people watching you on television and satellite channels."
Egypt have been drawn in Group G, alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, for the qualifiers.
The 56-year old tactician said in his remarks after the game that, at half-time, he'd told the players to be calm because they were capable of winning.
In the second half, Egypt's defender Mahmoud Fathallah scored the opener in the 54th minute. That was followed by an own goal from Mozambique goalkeeper Joao Rafael Kapango in the 63rd from a shot by Egyptian striker Mohamed Zidan.
"The players deserve praise and I am proud to be training them, despite the difficult circumstances in the country at the moment," Bradley explained, adding that he urged the players to do their best to win.
Bradley, who replaced long-time coach Hassan Shehata, dedicated the victory to 90 million Egyptians, pointing out that the players were nervous in the first-half, which was why they delayed in scoring.
"We made serious opportunities in the first-half, but, due to the mental strain of the players, they didn't find the back of the net till second-half," he pointed out.
"The coaching staff reminded the players at half-time that they have the talent and the ability to win," he said, stressing that he will not include any new players in the next matches, as he will depend only on the 28 players who are with him now, and who participated in the training camps, in Dubai, Qatar and Sudan.
“Mozambique are a powerful team with many highly technical and talented players,” the former United States coach stressed.
Bradley took over as US coach in 2007 after he was taken on as interim coach when the Americans struggled in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He guided the US team through the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but they lost to Ghana in the second round after drawing with England in the group stage.
The senior Egyptian team held a four-day preparation camp in Sudan, which witnessed the Pharaohs playing two games. They defeated Cameroon (with local players) 2-1 and stunned Togo's national team 3-0.
Earlier last month, the Egyptian senior team held another preparation camp in Sudan, where they played two friendlies against Uganda and Chad. Bradley described the camps as useful, adding that the Pharaohs are improving.
In the first camp, they stunned Chad 4-0, thanks to a goal from Mohamed Salah in the 30th minute, a powerful Ahmed Khairi header in the 44th minute and a strike by Ahmed Hassan Mekki on 90 minutes; Chad defender Hassan Hussein also helped the Egyptian cause with an own goal in the 88th minute.
Prior to that, the Pharaohs defeated Uganda 2-1, thanks to goals from Olympic player Mohamed Salah and Ahly playmaker Abou Treika.
Now the coaching staff's main task is to take Egypt to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil; that would be Egypt's third-ever appearance and the first in 24 years.
Diaa el-Sayyed, the general coach of Egypt's senior football team, expressed his satisfaction and happiness after the Pharaohs' win over Mozambique, pointing out that the changes made by Bradley made all the difference.
"Winning all the three points was the most important thing, especially as it was our first 2014 World Cup qualifiers," MENA quoted el-Sayyed as saying. "The team had their moments, but winning was what mattered.”


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