Cairo International Stadium will be the venue when Egypt's Young Pharaohs face Costa Rica in the last 16. The hosts will view the game as a golden opportunity to progress, while the Central Americans will be hoping to cause an upset.
Egypt-Costa Rica, Cairo, Tuesday 6 October, 20:00 local time
With a place in the quarter-finals in store for the winners, the Egyptians are confident they can advance and mount a challenge to be world champions. A win against Italy in the final game left the hosts top of Group A, ensuring they will continue to play at Cairo International Stadium, the scene of Egyptian football's greatest triumphs. The match will be played on Egyptian Armed Forces Day. This is an official holiday in Egypt and guarantees a bumper crowd.
Hussam Arafat will be available for selection after being suspended for the Italy game, and the home side hope to have Ahmed Hegazy and Salah Soliman back to full fitness. However, the Costa Ricans are not to be taken lightly. Their young players are extremely skilful and with their formidable speed of attack could prove troublesome for the Egyptian defence. Los Ticos have a full squad available for selection too, with no injury worries and the return of David Guzman after his suspension.
6 - The number of times Egypt has played CONCACAF sides in this competition. The Egyptians have the upper hand with three wins, beating Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 in 1991 and 4-1 in this year's showpiece opening game. They have also played out two draws, 3-3 against Mexico in 1981 and a goalless stalemate in 2001 against Jamaica. The Young Pharaohs' only defeat came against the USA in 2005, when they lost by a solitary goal. Egypt and Costa Rica have never met in the competition, but Los Ticos have a weak record in their five games against African sides. They have lost three matches and drawn one, with their only victory coming against Ethiopia in 2001, a game they won 3-1.
"I am more than happy with our performances so far. We have tried to correct the mistakes we saw on the first day. Today is a new start for the tournament and we must treat the knockout stage extremely carefully because from now on you don't get a second chance to correct a poor performance," Miroslav Soukup, Egypt coach.
"Playing against Egypt with their home advantage is a challenge in itself, and to be honest the last thing you want in any competition is to play the hosts. The Egyptians appear to be a complete team and I have been very impressed with Talaat, but we have our game plan and if we can impose it and maintain concentration then the game may go as we want it to. Personally I feel that we are capable of winning the game," Ronald Gonzalez, Costa Rica coach.