By John Essien
Assistant Coach of the Egyptian national team, Diaa Elsayed has insisted that the Pharaohs ultimate mission will only be completed once they emerge champions of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Reaching the final, Egypt will be seeking for a record 8th continental title against Senegal who are out to end the AFCON final hoodoo after two unsuccessful attempt.
Meanwhile, since the start of the tournament, the North African giants have portrayed a false image –an identity far from their best performance in the history of the competition.
The seven-time champions of Africa were handed a rough start to their campaign following a 1-0 loss to Nigeria in Group D opener, and this was followed by lacklustre performances against minnows, Guinea Bissau and Sudan, as they registered a 1-0 win in both games to reach the last 16.
Carlos Quieroz men won Ivory Coast via penalties to set up a quarterfinal clash with fierce North African rivals Morocco who they edged 2-1 thanks to a stunning display by skipper Mohammed Salah.
“Each time, the Egyptian team are favourites to win the tournament,” the tactician said as quoted by CAF official website.
“Tonight we played the usual game and we managed to reach the final. I would like to thank our coach Carlos Queiroz who was expelled during the game as well as all the players who made a difference… throughout the tournament.
“We are happy, it’s true, but we have not yet reached the final objective: the coronation. I can also add that our background is also due to the presence of one of the great players in our training, namely Mohamed Salah. A very essential player in our team and who remains the centerpiece for us.”
The Pharaohs are set to be without Manager Carlos Queiroz on the touchline for Sunday’s final after his sending off on Thursday.
The final will be played on Sunday night at the same venue.