Tunisia coach delighted over stylish win over Ghana opponents Egypt
Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul heaped praise on his players following a 1-0 win over Egypt on Sunday in the opening game of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Pharaohs are in the same qualifying group with Ghana for the 2018 World Cup and the defeat to Tunisia has sparked hopes the north African will slip up to give the Black Stars the advantage.
Egypt failed to reproduce the form that took them to the 2017 Nations Cup final, having been unable to mount any threats apart from a second-half audacious chip from Abdallah El-Said that narrowly missed the target.
"It was not an easy game, and this is always the case in Tunisia-Egypt duels. What counts in such matches is the victory but we did it in style too," Maaloul said after the game.
The Carthage Eagles claimed a narrow win but were never threatened by Egypt throughout the game.
"We were prepared and dominated the game end-to-end against the runners up of the last Africa Cup of Nations and the top ranked African team in the FIFA ranking.
"We knew their style of play and that's why we had always Abdallah El-Said, Mohamed Salah and Ramadan Sobhi under the surveillance of our players. We also pressed their backline to force them to play long balls and break the build-up of their play," he added.
"I am happy with the players' spirit and performance in such a tough game, especially that it came at the end of the season," Maaloul concluded.
Egypt's upcoming competitive game is with Uganda away from home in August; a crucial World Cup qualifier as the Pharaohs bid for their first appearance at the football's most prestigious showpiece since 1990.
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