“The Elephants” outperformed the desert warriors in the final group battle, as Cote d’Ivoire defeated the defending champion (3-1) in a meeting that almost ended with a heavy result.
Cote d’Ivoire scored 7 points with two wins over Algeria and Equatorial Guinea and a draw with Sierra Leone, while Egypt collected 6 points with wins over Guinea Bissau and Sudan and a loss against Nigeria.
The Egyptian team was criticized for its performance in the group stage, losing the opening match against the Green Eagles, and then scoring only two goals in the last two matches.
The Egyptian fans hope that the scenario of the match between Côte d’Ivoire and Algeria will not be repeated again next Wednesday against the Pharaohs on Cameroonian soil.
How does the Pharaohs play?
Egypt started the tournament in a 4-3-3 manner and has maintained it over the three matches it has played so far, but there have been many changes in the positions of the players and the formation.
The Côte d’Ivoire team has lethal attacking wings, with Nicolas Pepe on the right and Max Gradel on the left, which requires two distinguished defensive backs in coach Queiroz’s formation.
Ayman Ashraf enjoys Queiroz’s confidence due to his playing in the center of the defense and his proficiency as a left back, but on the right side, Egypt lost its main player Akram Tawfiq, who is distinguished in defense, and it has to choose between Omar Kamal, who plays as an attacking wing often, or Mohamed Abdel Moneim, the heart of the defense on the right side.
The defense duo adopted by Queiroz are Ahmed Hegazy and Mahmoud Al-Wansh, behind them is goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy, as well as in the middle, Carlos relies on Amr Al-Sulayya and Mohamed El-Nini, and the third player is always the subject of discussion, either Trezeguet or Abdullah Al-Saeed, or Ahmed Zizou, and in the attack there is no dispute when The technical staff of the Pharaohs on the trio, Mohamed Salah, Mustafa Mohamed and Omar Marmoush.
Carlos Queiroz, coach of the Egyptian national team, said about the match: “We will work to develop the end of opportunities in the coming days, and we will train from morning until noon on this part only.”
Egypt missed many chances, especially against Guinea-Bissau and Sudan, which caused the poor results for the Pharaohs, as Egypt won 1-0 against both teams with great difficulty.
For his part, Ahmed Farouk, an Egyptian sports analyst, told Sky News Arabia that Queiroz will not change his method against Côte d’Ivoire and will play as usual with a 4-3-3 plan.
Farouk added: “The Côte d’Ivoire team is characterized by a very strong midfield that has many stars, most notably Casey, so Egypt needs to put players in the middle who are physically strong.”
And Farouk added: “The presence of Ahmed Sayed Zizou and Amr Al-Sulayya next to El-Nini in the midfield will give Egypt an opportunity to confront the strength of the Ivorian team in the depth.”
The Elephants have many offensive options, as their list includes Wilfried Zaha, Sebastian Haller, Max Gradel and Nicolas Pepe, which indicates a difficult test for the defense of the Pharaohs.
On this, Ahmed Farouk completed: “I hope that Mustafa Mohamed will not start the attack primarily because of the expected pressure from Côte d’Ivoire, and therefore Marmoush may play as a late striker to replace him in the left wing position, Ramadan Sobhi or Mahmoud Trezeguet, with Salah on the right side.”