There were contrasting emotions after Egypt fought back twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Ghana in their Africa Cup of Nations Group B clash on Thursday, with The Pharaohs relieved and the Black Stars left frustrated.
Mohammed Kudus scored twice for Ghana, but goals from Omar Marmoush and Mostafa Mohamed pegged the west Africans back on both occasions. It was an entertaining clash which included three goals in five mad second-half minutes.
“I have full confidence in my team, I saw men who fought to the end only victory eluded us. We showed great qualities this evening against a revitalised Ghana. The players applied our instructions perfectly. There was room to win the match,” Egypt coach Rui Vitoria said.
He does have a worry over the fitness of star striker Mohamed Salah, who went off late in the first half with what looked like a hamstring injury ahead of a must-win clash against Cape Verde on Monday.
“At the moment, I cannot comment on the seriousness of his injury,” Vitoria said. “Of course, we are worried and we hope it is not too serious. We will have to keep the same state of mind for the next match against Cape Verde.”
Ghana coach Chris Hughton was frustrated by his side’s inability to kill the game and they now have a single point from their two matches heading into their final pool clash with Mozambique, a precarious position.
“We will continue to fight. It is true that at the moment there is a lot of frustration in the locker room. Our team deserved more, but football is like that,” Hughton said. “It’s frustrating. In a similar performance, we would surely have won. Two errors cost us the match. We didn’t take this opportunity to take the three points.
“There are no more small teams in Africa. We are preparing for a tough match against them (Mozambique). The calculations are already made, we need a victory to pursue our dream and I know we are capable of it.”
Kudus came off the bench after injury to affect the outcome and took his goals superbly.
“I’m happy to be back. I worked so hard to get back to the top and help my team, my nation. It’s important for me to be here,” he said.
“It’s a mixed feeling. As a forward, you want your goals to have an impact on the result. We made careless mistakes. Now we’ll have to get back to work, win the next one and then see what happens.
“We are not out. The objective remains the same, which is to take the trophy home,” Kudus added.