It might be the first time they lock horns in the history of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, but Egypt and Ghana have a very long rivalry on all levels of African football.
Hosts Egypt lock horns with Ghana’s Black Meteors as the ongoing Total U-23 AFCON Group A enters its day 2 this Monday.
The Olympic Pharaohs kicked off their campaign with a hardly fought 1-0 victory over Mali, while Ghana needed a late goal to come from behind and hold Cameroon to a 1-1 draw on Friday.
Both sides will look for a win that gets them closer to a place in the semifinals, with one of the three tickets to represent Africa in next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games at stake.
The Olympic Pharaohs will once again look for the brilliance of their attacking duet of skipper Ramadan Sobhy and first match winner Mostafa Mohamed.
Coach Shawky Gharib’s side had to do it while suffering a drastic situation. Defender Mahmoud Marei and winger Taher Mohamed were ruled off for injury a few hours before the opening game, which itself witnessed another injury to midfielder Nasser Maher who is ruled out for the rest of the tournament with shoulder dislocation.
On the other hand, Ghana’s Black Meteors will need a much improved appearance than that they had against Cameroon. Coach Ibrahim Tanko side rarely threatened their opponents, yet managed to comeback from behind to salvage a point when Habib Mohamed scored three minutes from time.