Egypt’s goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary emphasised the importance of Ghana clash, saying the upcoming game will be the Pharaohs’ gateway to the World Cup.
Egypt will host Ghana on Sunday at the Borg El-Arab Stadium in Alexandria in the second round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers as the seven-time African champions will be hoping to take a step towards making their third World Cup appearance and their first since 1990.
“All the players are focusing on the next game. We consider it our first game in the qualifications since the Congo game is now in the past,” El-Hadary said, according to the Egyptian Football Association website.
The Pharaohs, who defeated Congo 2-1 in the first round, will be looking to keep their spot on top of Group E when the Black Stars come to Alexandria. The Ghanaian team were held to a goalless home draw against Uganda in the first round.
“Our match against Ghana is the most important in this stage and the players are determined to win as they consider it Egypt’s gateway to the World Cup,” El-Hadary said.
The veteran goalkeeper said that all the players have a strong desire to please Egyptians who dream of watching their country take part in the 2018 Russia World Cup.
“It is important that the media support the national team during this important stage because an achievement will make everyone happy,” the 43-year-old added.
The skipper stressed that all players put aside their differences and focus on the national team, saying that the technical staff treat the players with fairness and equality and consider the team as a whole to be the star.