Egypt coach Javier Aguirre demands win over Tunisia to claim Group J summit

Tunisia boast of a 100 percent winning record with 12 points from four Group J matches, and Egypt coach Aguirre is keen to break their dominance.

Egypt coach Javier Aguirre is aiming at leading his side to finishing on top of Group J as he stressed that Friday’s 2019 Afcon qualifier against Tunisia in Alexandria is a must-win.

The Pharaohs are second in the group with nine points, three behind leaders Tunisia who have won all their four matches.

Both sides have already qualified for the Afcon tournament but Aguirre has stressed the match on Friday as a must-win encounter.

“The Tunisia match is very important at this stage, we want the three points to hold the group’s leadership which is our desire,” Aguirre was quoted by Kingfut as having said in pre-match press conference.

“We respect Tunisia but our only goal is to win even after securing qualification. We always play to win.”

Tunisia beat Egypt 1-0 in the reverse fixture last year.

Al Ahly midfielder Walid Soliman announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday after being frustrated by being omitted from the national team.

The veteran midfielder has been in top form for Al Ahly with solid performances in the Caf Champions League.

But Aguirre has defended himself after leaving out Soliman.

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“I don’t speak about a player who is outside the national team, I am only focused on the present players. I can’t call 20 new players all at once. I have to call players gradually to maintain the team’s structure," said Aguirre.

Egypt suffered as injury blow on Wednesday after Zamalek defender Mahmoud Hamdy suffered a muscle strain.

On the other hand, Tunisia will be without Esperance midfielder Ghailane Chaâlali and Etoile du Sahel midfielder Mohamed Amine Ben Amor who are both suspended.