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Egypt's Bradley optimistic about W. Cup dream
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 11 - 06 - 2012

CAIRO - Bob Bradley, the technical coach of Egypt's senior football team, has asked the Egyptian people to have faith in the ability of the Pharaohs to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, describing Egypt's victory over Guinea as 'an important step towards a better future'.
"Grabbing the three points in the Guinea game is an important step for the Pharaohs towards the second round of the qualifiers," Bradley said after the game.
Egypt claimed a 3-2 victory in Conakry over Guinea, thanks to two goals from veteran midfielder Mohamed Abou Treika and another from youngster Mohamed Salah.
The win puts Egypt on top of Group G with six points, with Guinea in second place on three points.
Bradley added that the team didn't put on well in the first-half of the game, but improved in the second-half.
"In the first-half, the players were slow, but they picked up speed in the second-half, creating many chances and finding the back of the net three times," Bradley explained.
"I am very happy with this win. The team were playing away from home in front of a capacity crowd of 35,000 Guinea fans, but we managed to win and now top the group," the former United States coach said.
Egypt have only played in two World Cup finals, the last one being in 1990, missing out on South Africa in 2010 after losing a play-off against Algeria.
“We respect the Guinean team as all our opponents in Group G. I have every confidence in the ability of the lads to make it to the World Cup finals,” the 56-year old tactician explained.
Last week, the Pharaohs defeated Mozambique 2-0 behind closed doors in Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria in their opening Group G tie, thanks to a goal from defended Mahmoud Fathallah in the 54th minute and then an own goal by Mozambique goalkeeper Joao Rafael Kapango in the 63rd from a shot by striker Mohamed Zidan.
''We made several mistakes in the Mozambique game. We avoided those mistakes against Guinea,'' Bradley added.
He urged the players to forget the Guinea game and start thinking about Friday's game against Central Africa in the 2013 African Cup of Nations (ACN) qualifiers in Borg el-Arab Stadium, behind closed doors.
Bradley, who replaced long-time coach Hassan Shehata, explained that the Egyptian national team can reach the World Cup finals, with the difficult circumstances in Egypt just now making the players extra motivated.
Bradley 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.
After the Mozambique game last week, he praised Abou Treika, Mohamed Naggi ‘Geddo' and promising youngster Mohamed Salah.
“Abou Treika and Salah move wonderfully without the ball, creating spaces for their teammates. Their passing is also excellent.
"The players deserve praise and I am proud to be training them, despite the difficult circumstances in the country at the moment," said Bradley.
He said that ‘Geddo' made an enormous effort, piling the pressure on the opponents' defenders. “Even if he didn't score, he helped his teammates score," stressed Bradley, who 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.
Diaa el-Sayyed, the general coach of the team, was equally delighted with the victory over Guinea.
"We played to win, although the game was difficult,” he pointed out, added that Guinea, are respectable team with many talented professional players.
"During the break, coach Bradley urged the players to up the tempo in the second-half. They did so and we beat the opponent," el-Sayyed explained, adding that the win over Guinea has motivated the players ahead of Friday's clash against Central Africa.
The 10 group winners advance to the final stage of African qualifying in October and November next year when they will play off to determine the continent's five representatives for Brazil in 2014.


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