Senegal will fancy their chances against Egypt in the second leg of their World Cup playoff qualifier at Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade on Tuesday evening despite being at a slight disadvantage.
Kick-off is at 7pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)
The Pharaohs emerged narrow 1-0 victors in the first leg on Friday thanks to an own-goal from Saliou Ciss in the fourth minute at the Cairo international Stadium.
Aliou Cisse’s side failed to take the chances that came their way as the North Africans defended resolutely to secure victory, which has placed them in pole position to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
Egypt head coach Carlos Queiroz praised the determination shown by his players in Cairo to keep the African champions at bay and come out on top.
“When it was necessary to defend as a team and fight, you saw one of the bravest Egyptians fighting on the pitch,” Queiroz was quoted as saying on Ahram Online.
“At a certain point of the game, it is normal in football that the team which is losing double their efforts. They start to put the ball forward and put pressure on our defenders.
“Our team was forced to regroup. With an amazing fantastic fighting spirit, we got back into the game and controlled Senegal and finished on top.”
Cisse admitted the Lions of Teranga lacked composure in front of goal last time out, but is supremely confident in the ability of his charges to get the desired result in Dakar on Tuesday and book their ticket to the showpiece event in Qatar.
“I am satisfied with the game produced by the players, we must focus on efficiency for the second leg,” he told the press.
“But nothing is lost, we have a second leg to play at home, we have to work with a view to reversing the result. We are confident in our capabilities. We are going to improve and seek the victory that will qualify us for the World Cup.”
The Pharaohs’ triumph in Cairo has evened up the head-to-head record between the two teams. They had lost the previous three encounters against the West Africans, including the recent Africa Cup of Nations final.
The win count stands at four apiece, with their only draw coming way back in June 2000 during a 2002 World Cup Qualifier which ended goalless.