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WC Qualification Africa

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Queiroz underlines importance of Egypt fans vs Senegal

08:33 IST 25/03/2022
Ismaila Sarr - Ahmed Abou El Fotouh - egypt - senegal - afcon 2021
The teams meet on March 25 and 29th with the overall winner making it to Qatar for the finals

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz is confident the fans at the Cairo International Stadium will play a vital role in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff against Senegal on Friday evening.

The two African heavyweights will be battling for the ticket to be among the five teams to represent the continent in the 2022 World Cup to be held in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.

In a pre-match interview, the tactician further insisted it is not expected to be an easy match but the presence of supporters will be a boost to the players.

"We’re going to play a final that will last for five days to decide who will qualify for the World Cup," Queiroz said as quoted by Kingfut.

"What I’m thinking about is the decisions that I will take in training. We have a good chance to qualify and we want to enjoy the moment. Tomorrow’s goal won’t be to enjoy football, we will need to be well prepared and endure a lot of pressure.

"The 12th player, the Egyptian fans, will have a big role to play if we want to win.

"I’m not worried about the fans against Senegal, because I believe that the Egyptian fans will be the 12th player. They will be on our side and support us when the ball is in our possession or with the opponent.“In football, nothing comes easy.

"You have to understand that things are not easy for us or the players. The fans are our main source of support. And the Senegalese fans in the second leg will give the players more of an incentive and encourage them to play a stronger match."

Queiroz further underlined the importance of ensuring they get goals rather than focusing on playing beautiful football.

"International matches are difficult and completely different from club competitions, where you play 60 matches per season," the 69-year-old continued.

"Senegal, for example, qualified for the Afcon final, although they scored one goal in the group stage, from a penalty kick. What is required is to win and move forward, not to play the best football on the field.

"[On Friday] we want to score more goals than them and continue our good defensive performance and not concede goals and reach our goal. The best teams have a good defensive system so it’s difficult to score against them, then we need to move forward well."

The second leg will be played on Tuesday, March 29 with the aggregate winner making it to the World Cup.