Sunday, December 4, 2011

Egypt aim to get through tight U-23 CAN group

Two semi-final places are up for grabs in the very tight Group B, with Ivory Coast, Egypt, South Africa and Gabon all keeping their chances of qualifying alive.

With three points from two games, Egypt take on a win-less South Africa, who can still qualify if they beat Hany Ramzy’s team in Marrakesh.

“All players are fit and we are spoiled for choice. It is now up to the players to deliver the goods on Saturday,” said South Africa coach Ephraim Mashaba.
“The players are prepared to compete and that's the attitude you need when you play against a physical side like Egypt.

“Those who want to be part of history must buy their flight tickets and be in Morocco on Saturday night, something big is going to happen.

“We received so much support from the people back home, and we have an opportunity to make them happy by qualifying for the semi-finals. A win on Saturday will put us closer to London 2012 Olympics.”

Egypt will also qualify automatically if they managed a win, while a draw can also work if leaders Ivory Coast avoided an unlikely defeat to outsiders Gabon in Tangiers.

Senegal and hosts Morocco have already booked their last-four place from Group A after outshining Algeria and 2008 Olympic silver medalists Nigeria.

The U-23 CAN doubles as the 2012 Olympic qualifiers as the top three teams will make it to the London finals, while the fourth-placed nation will face an Asian team.

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