Egypt, a country that is drenched in ancient history of the most powerful pharaohs and marvellous pyramids can’t boast similar superlatives about football on the global stage. Despite being the most decorated team in Africa, winning the African Cup of Nations on a record 7 occasions, Egypt have only managed to qualify for the World Cup twice (1934 & 1990) and on both attempts failed to register a measly win.
It’s no surprise that when on October 8, 2017 the country entered a pandemonium level of celebrations when they converted a last minute penalty to beat Congo 2-1 in Alexandria, Egypt. You may recognise the goal scorer of both their goals that night, the one and only Mo Salah of Liverpool FC. In fact he scored 5 of their 8 goals on the way to qualification which shows you the importance of the little goal scorer to Egypt’s hopes of what would be deemed as a successful competition for them.
What would a successful competition to Egypt look like?
Well, they start things off with a tough opener against experienced World Cup side and group favourites Uruguay where avoiding defeat would be considered fantastic foundations to progress to the knock out stages. They then travel to St Petersburg to face the no doubt hospitable hosts Russia but their final match will no doubt be key for Egypt when they face a very beatable Saudi Arabia side in Volgograd.
If Egypt can keep their knock out dreams alive by match day 3 then I have no doubt they will pick up the 3 points to progress into the dreamy knockout stages where we have seen in the past anything could happen to teams of this unknown quantity. For this to happen though they can’t afford anything less than 2 points from their opening matches. However, like many African teams their lack of big match experience at the top level could prove to be what holds them back but if Mo Salah can produce unplayable performances he has been at club level then this man could really produce some magic for The Pharaohs and be that difference.
Amazing video. Egypt’s last game in the World Cup qualifiers, only a win will do but they concede a late equalizer.
Focus on Mo Salah, this is what the beautiful game is all about.pic.twitter.com/ECseTZZcBs
— Soccer Vines (@SCRVines) February 25, 2018
Predicted group finish: 2nd