Egypt will look to bounce back at the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations when they face Guinea-Bissau in a Group D clash at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua on the evening of Saturday.
Egypt opened their bid for a record-extending eighth Afcon title with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Nigeria on Tuesday, as Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal proved the difference between the teams.
The Pharaohs put in a disjointed effort against the Super Eagles, creating only one clear chance for star man Mohamed Salah – which was denied by the Nigerian goalkeeper – and finding a better rhythm will be key to their hopes of claiming victory on Saturday night.
“The performance in the first half was very poor, and that’s the truth, we weren’t on the pitch,” said coach Carlos Quieroz. “We only started playing in the second half. There’s no clear reason behind this failure and defeat against Nigeria.”
Guinea-Bissau, meanwhile, got their tournament off to a solid start with a 0-0 draw against Sudan, though they will reflect on numerous missed chances – including a late penalty from Pele which was saved by the Sudanese goalkeeper – and feel that they should have claimed all three points.
A performance of similar determination, but with better finishing, could really trouble Egypt, and the African Wild Dogs may sniff a chance at a headline-grabbing upset.
“We were here with the goal of taking three points. We fought, it wasn’t possible. I think we will do better next time. We will work to win in the next game,” said Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande.
In head-to-head stats, this will be the first competitive meeting of Guinea-Bissau and Egypt.
The other Group D match in this round sees Nigeria take on Sudan earlier on Saturday evening, also at the Roumde Adjia Stadium.