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Confederations Cup - Egypt out to erase bitter memories
Published in FilGoal on 11 - 06 - 2009

Egypt's unpleasant memories in their maiden Confederations Cup participation could act as an incentive for them to make a better impact in the 2009 South Africa finals.
Ten years ago in Mexico, the Pharaohs not only finished bottom of their group but they also ended their campaign in embarrassing fashion after suffering a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.
Egypt will now be aware than an African representative who claimed back-to-back Nations Cup titles should make a decent impact even if it fails to make it to the semi finals.
"The unhappy memories of the 1999 tournament have been already banished. We are looking forward to a much better campaign," head coach Hassan Shehata said.
Egypt will face the toughest of challenges though after being drawn in Group B along with world champions Italy, Copa America holders Brazil and Gold Cup winners the United States.
More Experience
Despite the daunting task that awaits them, Egypt should take heart from the fact that their current crop of players is more experienced than their predecessors.
Mahmoud Al-Gohari's team, who played in the 1999 Confederations Cup, boasted many talented footballers but they hardly held their nerve in crucial encounters against high-profile teams.

I saw some games for Egypt and I liked the way they play
But Egypt became much more accustomed to these games, thanks to several friendlies against many heavyweights including France and Spain.
"The Egyptian team is now used to playing against big teams," Shehata added.
"In the past year, we have played several friendly matches against teams like Argentina, Spain and Portugal.
"Luckily, we are meeting three other big teams -- Brazil, Italy and the USA -- and they have come to us a gift in the Confederations Cup. It is a valuable opportunity for us."
The six-time African champions will mainly rely on local-based players after stars Mido and Amr Zaki, who played on loan at Wigan Athletic last season, were withdrawn from the squad for different reasons.
Zaki will miss the Confederations Cup due to a hamstring injury while Mido was omitted for 'technical reasons'.
Egypt face a stern test against six-time world champions Brazil in their tournament opener on June 15th. They then face Italy three days later before concluding their group stage campaign against the United States on June 21st.
"I saw some games for Egypt and I liked the way they play," Brazil coach Dunga stated.
Italy's Marcello Lippi also highlighted a threat that Egypt might pose. "Do not forget, Egypt are a very dangerous side in that competition," he told Rai Sport.


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