The Pharaohs captain was unhappy his side were reduced to 10 men against Japan but praises the fight and performance they showed throughout the competitionEgypt captain Mohamed Aboutrika admitted he was disappointed with his side’s 3-0 defeat to Japan in the quarter-finals of the Olympic football competition but pinpointed the dismissal of Saadeldin Saad as the turning point in the game.
Defender Saad was shown a red card by referee Mark Geiger in the 41st minute after bringing down substitute Manabu Saito, and despite the Al Ahly midfielder’s best efforts they were unable to cope with a man less.
“The red card had an effect on us, we weren’t particularly happy about that,” he told reporters.
"I think that we did really well [in the competition] but today was difficult for us.
“We did much better in the group stages, today was a hard match.”
Aboutrika, one of Egypt’s over-age players, worked tirelessly to try and inspire the young team around him but his efforts were in vain as Kensuke Nagai, Maya Yoshida and Yuki Otsu fired Japan into the semi-finals with a 3-0 win.
“I’m not particularly happy with the result,” he said.
“We did want to get to the semi-final but it was a difficult match, they are a great team, and the fact that someone got sent off did have an effect on us.
“In the beginning we lacked concentration a bit so we gave them the advantage.”
Aboutrika also added that he hoped that his side’s performance will please the supporters back home, and praised the team for the way they have reacted to a difficult time both on and off the pitch.
“It has been very difficult in Egypt with the league being suspended,” he continued.
“I am happy we managed to achieve a good level of football despite everything.”
Despite the defeat the 33-year old remained upbeat about the future of Egyptian football and predicted bright things ahead for his team-mates, and insisted he still wanted to be part of the squad for the next World Cup.
“I think we’ve got a great team and the World Cup [2014 in Rio] is going to be excellent,” he added.
“Hopefully we’ll have more success next time.
“We’ve got a good chance of qualifying so there’s a lot more to come from us.
“It’s not the last time I’ll be playing, I am part of this team and I’m very proud to be part of it and to wear this Egypt football shirt.”
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