Egyptians will be waiting with bated breath as the Pharaohs kick off their bid for their eighth ACN title this Friday.
It’s getting to that point in the football calendar where the Egyptian team will be dusting off their boots and attempting to capture regional glory for what would be the eighth time. That’s right, the African Cup of Nations is back, and will be hosted in Morocco for the second time in the tournament’s 57 year history. Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast will be looking to use their presence at the World Cup as a springboard for the coming competition, and many pundits have pointed to these teams as having an advantage due to their recent competitive international experience.
Egypt will be looking to put their memories of failed World Cup qualification behind them after they threw away a six match winning streak in a torrid performance against Ghana, losing 6-1 in the first leg, and managing to scrape a 2-1 victory in the second leg, leaving the aggregate score 7-3 in favour of the Black Stars.
The Pharaoh’s first hurdle will come in the shape of one-time runners up Senegal on Friday 5th September, and Egypt will have history on their side, winning three of the last four meetings between the two teams. Guinea, Togo, Sudan, and South Africa will also be in action on the same day.
Egypt appear to have been drawn in something of an easy group, with one-time champions Tunisia being the only real hurdle ahead of them, but Egypt do have an unfortunate history of underperforming, especially against teams they should be beating soundly. This will be head coach Shawky Gharib’s first African Cup of Nations in charge, and football fans will be waiting with bated breath to see whether he has found a way to mitigate this issue that has plagued the team. Considering his experience, being part of the 1986 cup winning team, one can only hope that he can find a way to keep the team motivated.
5/9/2014 Senegal v Egypt
10/9/2014 Egypt v Tunisia
10/10/2014 Botswana v Egypt
15/10/2014 Egypt v Botswana
14/11/2014 Egypt v Senegal
19/11/2014 Tunisia v Senegal