CAIRO: Egypt tactician Hassan Shehata voiced his satisfaction with fans’ support during the Pharaohs 1-1 draw with Zambia in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers final phase.
The game was supposed to be a walk in the park for the African champions, but the Chipolopolo salvaged a point.
Egypt s display was notably below-par. And Shehata summoned the courage to admit that his side failed to deliver the goods.
I know that our fans were expecting a better result against Zambia, but they have to be patient, he stated after the match.
Our supporters were really magnificent, and I would like to thank them all for their faithfulness.
We still have five games in hand. We haven t given up hope of qualifying for the World Cup.
Shehata s statements were echoed by Ahmed “Mido Hossam, who stressed on the importance the support Egypt get from the stands.
Our fans were great today, but unfortunately we couldn t seal a win, said the Egypt striker, who was introduced as a second-half substitute.
On why the hosts couldn t win the game, the towering player commented: We are all as a team responsible for the unsatisfying result, you can t blame it on individuals.
Now we need to pull ourselves together fast and get ready for the Algeria trip. We would compensate for the slipped-away two points should we win the upcoming match.
Egypt, who hasn’t reached the World Cup since 1990, will face the Desert Foxes on June 7.
Egypt assistant coach Shawki Gharib does not believe that Sunday s draw will dent the team s hopes of reaching the 2010 World Cup finals.
There is a long way to go, Gharib told the post-match press conference.
Our draw against Zambia doesn t mean that we will not qualify for the World Cup. Our confidence should not drop.
All teams are now tied on one point after Algeria played out a goalless draw with Rwanda on Saturday.
Algeria also drew so we shouldn t be that worried. Yes we were held at home but in modern football it doesn t matter, away and home ties are the same.
Gharib also rued Egypt s wasted chances throughout the match.
We had many chances to kill off the game but we failed to make the most of them.
Anyway, Zambia played well and successfully closed down spaces in midfield although they did not create clear-cut chances.