Egypt and Austria are all set to go head-to-head on Thursday 4 August in their final Group E match here at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011. And though the North Africans go into the game with four points already in the bag, their opponents can still overtake them with an emphatic win.
After kicking off their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Brazil and a 1-0 win over Panama, Egypt go into the match with confidence high. So much so that coach El Sayed Diaa has already warned his charges about a repeat of the complacency he felt they showed in the first half against the Central Americans.
Austrian supremo Andreas Heraf, for his part, made the decision to withdraw key men in the second half of the 3-0 defeat by Brazil, with a view to ensuring their freshness for Thursday’s decisive showdown. “When you’ve got no chance of getting back into the game and have such an important match coming up, it’s best to think ahead and protect your most creative players,” said Heraf.
5 – The number of Egyptian players that would miss their country’s Round of 16 clash, if they qualify, should they pick up a yellow card against Austria. Ahmed Taufik, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Hamdy, Mohamed El Neny and Omar Gaber are all walking a suspension tightrope.
“Before matches, I always like to reiterate that I respect all our opponents. I had respect for Brazil, Panama and now Austria. I’m not going to change the way I see the game: I’ll show respect for each and every opponent through to the final against Colombia,” Egypt coach El Sayed Diaa.
“The team played well against Brazil, who are perhaps one of the best teams in the world, until they scored their second goal. In fact, the result might have been different had we taken some of the chances we’d created before then. The team’s playing well but if you don’t score you can’t win. We’re hoping to remedy that in the clash with Egypt,” Austria coach Andreas Heraf.