Egypt begin their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign by playing host to visiting Mozambique in Alexandria, but will not have much home support due to a Fifa-approved fan ban
Fathi, Hegazi, Okka, Moawad
Elmohamady, Shawky, Aboutrika, Ghaly
Dario, Whiskey, Paito, Mexer,
Tellinho, Hagi, Domingues, Simao,
Despite rocky preparations that were severely hampered by the cancellation of the Egyptian Premier League, the Pharaohs are heading into their first 2014 World Cup qualifier following friendly wins over the likes of Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Chad, and Togo. Bob Bradley is looking to avoid a repeat scenario of Egypt’s slow start to the 2010 World Cup qualifying when they were held to a 1-1 draw against current African champs Zambia.
The American coach’s side is built around veteran midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika but Ahmed Hassan is not sure of participating due to a thigh strain. Players such as Zamalek duo Shikabala and Amr Zaki were not included in the squad list. However, in-form newcomer Mohammed Salah could be set to spearhead the Egyptian frontline and Mohammed Shawky has been granted a recall in Bradley’s biggest test yet.
Mozambique’s build-up to the qualifiers was not a smooth one for newly hired coach Gert Engels and his squad. The Black Mambas lost heavily to Iran (3-0) in a friendly earlier this month before being held to a goalless draw by Namibia. Prior to that, the southern Africans did manage to pull out a 1-1 away draw against Tanzania to put them in a good position to progress to the next round of 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Engert took his team to his native Germany for a training camp before heading to Cairo but had to deal with the late arrivals of two of his professional players in Domingues and Simon who did not take part in the loss to Iran. The Mozambicans are also testing two new goalkeepers, Ricardo Campos de Caldas and Bruno Miguel.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
The match officials are from Kenya. Sylvester Kirwa is the referee and his assistants will be Marwa Range, Elias Wamalwa, and Moses Osano.
Mozambique’s last official win dates back to November 11, 2011 when they defeated Comoros 4-1, a result that helped them progress to the current group stages of 2014 World Cup qualifying.
Egypt have faced the Black Mambas three times in their history and have won every one of those games 2-0. The last time the two teams played each other was during the group stages of the 2010 Afcon in Angola, a tournament the Pharaohs eventually ended up winning.
Egypt will be deprived of home support due to a fan ban in place following the Port Said stadium riot that caused the death of at least 74 people who attended a game between Masry and Al Ahly on November 1, 2012.
Despite their impressive showing in 2010 World Cup qualifying, Mozambique did not manage to follow it up with a qualification for the 2012 Afcon.
Coach Bradley called upon Brighton central defender Adam El-Abd for the first time in his career to potentially replace the injured Wael Gomaa, yet the player remains ineligible to represent Egypt at international level.