Previous
Brighton & Hove Albion
Stoke City
8:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Hellas Verona
Bologna
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
SC Amiens
Lille
3
0
LIVE 85'
Game Details
Palermo
Cittadella
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Dynamo Dresden
Kaiserslautern
0
0
LIVE 9'
Game Details
Lens
Niort
7:45 PM UTC
Game Details
Next
EgyptEgypt
CongoCongo
2
1
FT
Game Details
EgyptEgypt
UgandaUganda
1
0
FT
Game Details

Uganda prove there's life after Micho

Football
Read
UgandaUganda
EgyptEgypt
1
0
FT
Game Details

El-Hadary deserves respect but I'm Africa's best says Onyango

Football
Read

Uganda confident they can silence Salah says Onyango

Football
Read

Nigeria, Ghana fall in FIFA rankings

Football
Read

Egypt boss Cuper defends tactics after criticism for overusing Mohamed Salah

Gab Marcotti explains why he believes that Egypt have the potential to surprise many people after they and Nigeria qualified for the World Cup.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper defended his tactics on Monday, saying a different strategy may not have led the Pharaohs to what will be their first World Cup in 28 years.

Egypt gathered in Cairo for the first time since Oct. 8, when they qualified for the World Cup with a game to spare after beating Republic of Congo 2-1 to top Africa Group E. They kick off that last qualifier against Ghana on Sunday.

Yet, despite the long-awaited qualification, Cuper has been widely criticised in Egypt for his cautious tactics and heavy reliance on Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. Some in the local media have mockingly dubbed the Argentine's strategy to be "Pass it to Salah," and others have gone so far as to say he should be fired.

Egyptian football officials side with Cuper, the coach since 2015, and have pledged to keep him through the World Cup in Russia next year.

Cuper answered the criticism on Monday at a packed news conference at Cairo's 100,000-seat stadium, before the national squad trained.

"The team may have the potential to perform better, and we could have changed our tactics, but we may also not have been going to Russia as we are now," Cuper said through an interpreter.

"In football, not everyone can agree on a single set of tactics. Sometimes, even realizing all the set objectives is not enough for the sport's officials. It's natural.

"Sometimes, I myself make a wrong assessment and it's possible that Egypt could have qualified for the World Cup with a different coach... my abilities may have their limitations, and with another coach you could have played better, braver, and attacked more."

Egypt coach Hector Cuper has come under fire despite qualifying for the World Cup.

To criticism that he has relied heavily on overseas-based players, Cuper said he's tried 50 players in his tenure, and he and his staff have tirelessly watched domestic games with a view to recruiting new talent. But he cautioned that bringing in new faces won't be easy at this stage.

"We watch and we analyze to see who is better and more suitable," he said. "The players already in the squad know their places are not guaranteed. Even my job is not guaranteed."

The priority for the Ghana match will be on little-used players already in the squad. Cuper defended leaving Salah out of the squad for the Ghana game, saying the striker was "very exhausted, both physically and emotionally" when he was last on international duty.

He instead called up striker Mahmoud Abdel-Razeq, better known by his nickname Sheekabala, for the first time since 2014. Sheekabala has been in impressive form for Saudi club Al Raed.

"He has developed in a big way recently and he could get to play against Ghana," Cuper said.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.