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2008 Africa Cup of Nations
Shehata: Group C still wide open
The Egypt manager insists his team must still fight for a quarter-final berth.
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2008 12:32 GMT

Hosni Abd Rabou, left, scored a brace as Egypt overpowered Cameroon in the Group C opener [AFP]

Egypt, African Cup defending champions, have insisted that Group C of the 2008 tournament is still wide open despite their emphatic 4-2 win over close rivals Cameroon in their opening match.
 
In the other game of the group Zambia defeated brave Sudan 3-0 to take an early lead at the top of the group standings.
Hassan Shehata, Egypt coach, said the first-up win was a satisfying outcome against four-time winners Cameroon, but added that his team are yet to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament.
"We still don't have the ticket to the quarter-final of the competition because it is still wide open," said Shehata, who was missing several key players through suspension and injuries.
 
"However, I'm very happy with this result and the way my team played. The players did all I instructed them, they were aggressive in our first match in defence of our crown."
 

"We will celebrate this victory just a little before we start to think about the next two games."

Hassan Shehata,
Egypt coach

Shehata added: "I did not expect to win by as many as four goals. The three goals we scored in the first half made life a lot easier for us.
 
"We will celebrate this victory just a little before we start to think about the next two games."
 
Otto Pfister, Cameroon manager, admitted that the Pharaohs outclassed his team in the first half.
 
"Egypt were very good particularly in the first half. I tried to do something about this but the level of the Egyptians was very high especially in the midfield and defence," Pfister said.
 
"It was difficult for us to control the game but in the second half we produced some chances but we could not take them.
 
"We must now win our next two games so that we can qualify for the quarter-final. We have no choice but to do so."
 
Cameroon face Zambia while Egypt are up against Sudan on Saturday at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
Source:
Agencies
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