FIFA 2018 World Cup: A brief look at Egypt’s Pharaohs

The FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers campaign for Africa came to end over the weekend.

Egypt is among the five African countries that qualified for the finals due in Russia midway next year

So how did they get to Russia? Who is the key player? the coach who led them to successful? And anything else? Yes.

© Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
Egypt national team players in training at Namboole stadium in Kampala before they faced Uganda in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier

Egypt – THE PHARAOHS

How they qualified: The Pharaohs qualified on match day five with a hard fought win over Congo Brazzaville in Alexandria.

In a group (E) that had giants Ghana, the fast rising Uganda and the unpredictable Congo Brazzaville, the Pharaohs qualified with 13 points, four better than second placed Cranes.

They lost only once (in Kampala against Uganda) and scored 8 against four.

© Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
Mo Salah and Mohamed Elneny

Key Player: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah scored five of the eight goals for the seven time African champions including the winner against Uganda Cranes and Congo Brazzaville.

Pedigree: It’s only the third time the Egypt have qualified for the World’s biggest soccer showpiece.

They first qualified in 1934 and later returned in 1990 – the last time they made an appearance at the World Cup.

@ Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE
Hector Cuper

Coach: Veteran Argentine Hector Cuper is the man behind the success of the Pharaohs in the campaign.

His appointment in March two years ago was met by different opinions and through his entire career with Egypt; he has met a lot of resistance.

He has previously managed Valencia and Inter Milan but on national team level, he has only handled one major tournament in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations – where Egypt lost 2-1 to Cameroon in the finals.