Olympic Games: Egypt's target is to reach second round in Tokyo - Hegazi

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Egypt international Ahmed Hegazi has explained how their main target is to make sure they reach the second round during the Tokyo Olympic Games, which starts next week.

Hegazi, who features for Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad, is confident they will make it to the next round if they take it a game at a time, despite being pooled alongside Spain, Argentina, and Australia.

"I am so happy that I was picked by the coaching staff. It is a huge honour for me to participate in the Olympics for the second time in my career after 2012 in London." Hegazi, who will captain the side, said as quoted by egypttoday.com.

"We have many good players in the team, we know that we will face big teams like Spain, Argentina and Australia in the group stage but we will take the games step by step.

"Our first target is to reach the second round. We will fight to go as far as we can in the competition.”

On his part, Ramadan Sobhy is also confident Egypt will survive the tough group to reach the next round.

"We have been working for this for the last three years and we are ready. It is different than the U23 Afcon that we won at home. It is a tough group but we are confident." Ramadan also said as quoted by the same portal.

Egypt coach Shawky Gharib named a 22-man squad for the competition, but is without Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny, and Zamalek loanee Mostafa Mohamed, who has been impressive in the Turkish Super Lig with Galatasaray.

The Pharaohs will be making a 13th appearance in the men’s football event at the Olympics.

Egypt squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawy (Al Ahly), Mohamed Sobhi (Ittihad of Alexandria), Mahmoud Gad (ENPPI).

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Defenders: Ahmed Hegazi (Ittihad Jeddah), Mahmoud El-Wensh, Mohamed Abdel-Salam, Ahmed Fetouh (Zamalek), Osama Galal (Pyramids FC), Ahmed Ramadan Beckham (Al Ahly), Karim El-Eraky (Al Masry), Karim Fouad (ENPPI).

Midfielders: Akram Tawfik, Nasser Maher (Al Ahly), Amar Hamdi (Ittihad of Alexandria), Emam Ashour (Zamalek).

Forwards: Ramadan Sobhi, Ibrahim Adel (Pyramids FC), Abdelrahman Magdy (Ismaily) Taher Mohamed, Salah Mohsen (Al Ahly), Nasser Mansi (El-Gaish), Ahmed Yasser Rayan (Ceramica Cleopatra).