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Africa Cup of Nations

Egypt issue solemn Senegal warning despite Afcon final defeat

6:33 AM GMT+4 07/02/2022
Salah Mane Gabaski Senegal Egypt African Cup
The two African giants will lock horns next month in the World Cup qualifiers

Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski has warned their World Cup playoff opponents Senegal that the Pharaohs never stay down for long despite losing Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against the Teranga Lions.

The two African heavyweights played out a 0-0 draw at the Stade d’Olembe in Yaounde in the final game of the Afcon tournament, with Sadio Mane ultimately netting the decisive spotkick in the shootout to secure the Lions’ first continental crown.

However, Gabaski, who had saved a Mane penalty in the fourth minute of the match, has warned Senegal that Egypt will come back stronger when the two sides meet in next month’s World Cup playoffs.

”It’s well known that we, Egypt, do not just take a fall,” he told GOAL. “When we fall, we get up, even though the fact we’ve lost today makes us feel like we’re in a difficult and delicate situation.

“We have other challenges ahead of us next month, with the same teams involved, and if it’s God’s will, we will continue and pursue our objectives.

“We have several more matches coming up in the coming months, and we have to win.”

Egypt assistant coach Diyaa El-Sayed, standing in for suspended Carlos Queiroz, is also confident that the seven-time Afcon winners can bounce back—and in style—from this bitter setback.

“This Egypt team have a bright future, and although we were determined to go right to the end, this [tournament] is still some kind of success for us.

“We’ll continue going until we secure World Cup qualification. We want to thank God that Egypt have a strong team in place, that the country are proud of them, and the next steps will be better for us.”

El-Sayed also outlined that even though there are some details which the Pharaohs need to work on ahead of their double-header with Senegal, he’s confident that they can build on the positives they can take from a testing Nations Cup.

“I don’t know exactly what we will have to focus on before March and the next playoff matches,” he concluded. “This team has already been working for four months now, we’ve taken part in various competitions, the qualifiers, the Arab Cup, and now we’ve played at the 2021 Nations Cup.

“I think we’re 90-95 percent ready in terms of the next matches. We’re also confident.”