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Egypt seek World Cup miracle against Ghana

Published on: 18 November 2013

Egypt will attempt to engineer a World Cup miracle by overturning a 6-1 deficit against Ghana on Tuesday and snatch a spot in the finals in Brazil next year.

With Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon already assured of their places, there are only two remaining African slots up for grabs with Burkina Faso taking a slim 3-2 lead to Algeria in the second leg of their play-off.

Egypt have been lifted by Al Ahly's eighth CAF Champions League win at the expense of South Africa's Orlando Pirates this month with Mohamed Aboutrika providing the inspiration.

Aboutrika scored in both legs and he will again be looked upon to spark off a miraculous comeback against the Black Stars of Ghana.

Ghana skipper Asamoah Gyan, who scored twice in Kumasi in the 6-1 first leg mauling, will not dismiss Egypt's chances of a great comeback.

"It's football and so anything can happen," he said.

"We're in a comfortable position right now, but we need to totally focus on our job and make sure we do what we have to do to reach Brazil."

Egypt beat Zambia 2-0 in a warm-up last week and the Pharaohs coach Bob Bradley has promised to ring changes to the team from the disastrous outing in Kumasi.

Ghana's concerns over their safety in Cairo have headlined the build-up to Tuesday's fixture and it needed the intervention of world football governing FIFA to assure them they will be safe in the Egyptian capital.

The Black Stars have been strengthened with the return of fit-again Kevin-Prince Boateng and Harrison Afful, who was suspended for the first game.

A major injury doubt for Ghana is defender David Addy, who is nursing an ankle problem.

The battle for the final World Cup ticket from Africa will be decided later on Tuesday between hosts Algeria and Burkina Faso at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida, where Algeria have not lost in 19 matches since 2002.

In June, at the same venue, Algeria beat Burkina Faso 2-0 in a friendly.

However, this time Burkina Faso take a 3-2 win from the first encounter in Ouagadougou last month and are desperate for a place in a first final.

Algeria are favoured to win, but ex-skipper Anthar Yahia has warned that this match can only be won or lost on the pitch and not on the pages of newspapers.

"Algeria will be the favourites to win going by their record against Burkina Faso. This is what the media have suggested, but the most important thing is really what happens on the pitch," said Esperance of Tunisia defender Yahia.

"Burkina Faso reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and they have proved to be a very good team. They only need a draw to qualify and so it could be difficult for Algeria, who also need to be cautious when going forward."

Bosnian coach Vahid Halihodzic has said Algeria were undone by biased officiating in Burkina Faso, but he is confident he has an attack capable of overturning the loss in Ouagadougou.

The Stallions of Burkina have been boosted with the return from injury of their talisman Alain Traore, who missed last month's first leg.

The class of the 24-year-old striker is not in doubt as he proved at the last Nations Cup in South Africa, but his promising career has often been dogged by injuries.


This article has 12 comment(s), give your comment
  • Albert EINSTEIN says:
    November 18, 2013 11:43 am
    EGYPT will get their MIRACLES if AKWASI APPEAH and AKWASI NYANTAKYI dindnt think SMARTLY to xclude KPB inthe squad in CAIRO..I have said it B4 and will say it agian..Some of the Black Stars players are not HAPPY to the inclution of KEVIN BOATENG..I am CLOSER to some of the BS Players in EUROPE and this is wat i ve heard from some of them..Some of the BS Players dont get it why KPB could play for another team with his knee INJURIES and cant play for his cuntry? Some thinks he is an OPPRTUNIST and only wants to go to Brazil hence, he KPB is in CAIRO..Akwasi APPEAH and Akwasi NYANAKYI , dont tell me i didnt warn u to justifies KPB incluton to the black stars in CAIRO.. Just say I am a WHISTLE BLOWER..
  • spellBOUND says:
    November 18, 2013 01:53 pm
    einstein, respect, i dont smoke or drink either. who are these black star friends of yours?? no one is claiming KPB to be a messiah, but u cannot doubt that he makes us better. can u??? also what does baby jet gain by opposing KPB's inclusion into the squad. after all, KPB is not a striker, IS HE??? i will tell u whats going on. no one on the starting 11 is complaining. if what u r saying is true, then the only ones complaining, or the so called ur "friends" are those mediocre players who should not have received a callup in the first place, and are not worried that KPB's inclusion will finally open AA's eyes to drop them. i.e.: asante, adomah, and co.
  • Albert EINSTEIN says:
    November 18, 2013 01:41 pm
    I thank U very much Mr spell BOUND but, dont let any of yur relative or yur family member thinks of that substance ( DRUGS )..I dnt even smoke cigarrete neighter drinks alchohol..I know , like what ive said,, GHANAIANS likes their football too much that they dont think any quenciquequncies that could SPOIL A PARTY to a prestegious match for the third time o WC in BRAZIL..I might be at FAULT from GHANAS GFA -AKWASI APEAH and Akwasi NYANTAKYI thinking that KPB is the MESSIAH TO take GHANA to BRAZIL..Well, some of the BS players dont think like that..The team have been divided..Some dont get KPB why he can play for SCHALKE but cant play for his adopted country GHANA..I am not making fool of myself..Truu wot i ve heard from some of my BS players (Friends)is wat i am tellin yu..Even the BABY JET doubts and thinking GHANA must be focust and anytin can happen..
  • BERNIITO says:
    November 18, 2013 01:14 pm
    @naija man. this is my first time of reading such a sensible comment from a Nigerian on this site! keep your constructive comments coming,my in-law! I know anything can happen in football, but if comments from the players-that it is not yet time for uhuru- are anything to go by, then I think they're going to kill off the game in Cairo! a 4-2-3-1formation can unsettle the Egyptians who will need goals badly. dominate the midfield,keep the ball and look for opening, match them boot for boot and head to head, take convert half chances into goals. hit them on the break each time they surge forward for goals. they will rather be nervous and under intense pressure to score so wait for their naivity at being nervous and capitalise on it. I don't even foresee Egypt scoring 2 goals without conceding more than 3. I hate predicting matches but with Egypt going to be under pressure to score, if the stars take their chances which there will be many, it will end: Egypt 1 Ghana 2!
  • Albert EINSTEIN says:
    November 18, 2013 01:19 pm
    I dont want to call those players that U ve mentioned, but Mr. CHINESE BULLET..U seems to be sounding like ZAMBIAN, but anyway ,Ill still answer ur question..GFA must be very careful of sanctioning KPB in the BS SQUAD in CAIRO..Upon all that i ve said, those responses to make GHANA qualifies to BRAZIL, some of them BS PLAYERS) are not SATISFY the INCLUTION of KEVIN in CAIRO..Cos some of them thinks , he (KPB) is an opportunist.
  • Kwaku Tee says:
    November 18, 2013 01:07 pm
    Tell Einstein to go to school and stop thinking of KPB or else he will die as an illiterate.Kevin did not join the team on his own,he was invited by the Akwasi Appiah who has been mandated by republic of Ghana to coach the team.
  • chinese bullets of zambia says:
    November 18, 2013 12:38 pm
    Albert so u want us to call solomon asante?micheal helegbe?prince tagoe?don bortey?yussif chipsah? Hahaha camon chaley kpb is an outstanding player.we invented him jux lyk dede n co.what is yor prb now?
  • spellBOUND says:
    November 18, 2013 12:40 pm
    HAHAHAH, mr einstein. for someone claiming the name of the "smartest" man to ever live, u sure sound like a complete crackhead. LOL. the only thing ur closer to is a crack pipe. get off the drugs and experience relief on your close minded and jealous soul. dont tell us we didnt warn u to get off the drugs if u overdose one day. lol.
  • naija man says:
    November 18, 2013 12:28 pm
  • Albert EINSTEIN says:
    November 18, 2013 12:15 pm
    @-My African BROTHA Divaro..I appreciates Ur concerns abt my BLOGG..With also my due RESPECT to U , I know how much GHANAIANS likes their football to a three times concecutives to the PRESTEGIUOS prices of FIFAS play offs , that means , THE WORLD CUP..U just old me that U dont know which EUROPIAN players that I am NEARER to, likewise, U are just teling me that U ( Divaro ) is CLOSER to MOST..That means Divaro is not closer to all the 23 BS players like me..Dont U ( Divaro ) THINKS wat i am tellig GHANA is right that the team is devided abt KPB inclustion?..I am living in EUROPE and believe me Mr Divaro ,CALL A WHISTLE BLOWER..That is all that i can say, ( THE REASONABLE WILL REASON WITH ME TO TAKE ME SERIOUSLY)..I HOPE GFA AND AKWASI APPEAH WIL GET NOTICE TO KNOW WAT I MEAN AS A WHISTLE BLOWER..
  • lalasu says:
    November 18, 2013 12:13 pm
    Albert, u dont even have facts...u r just dwelling on hear say
  • Divaro says:
    November 18, 2013 11:55 am
    @Albert EINSTEIN, with all due respect this is not the time for this. I don't know which of the Europe based players you claim to be close to. I am very close to most of them too, and I am talking about the active ones, and almost all of them are there in camp now and from what I know from them, they are very happy Kevin is back, so please stop this. If you have a personal problem with the invitation of Kevin, then it's your own problem. What we need now is prayer and support for the team and whoever is invited. Stay BLESSED Bro.