Egypt satisfied with March games despite Nigeria loss

An experimental Pharaohs side drew away at Niger before going on to suffer a first defeat against the Super Eagles in 29 years

The performances of the Egypt side that persecuted Niger and Nigeria games was satisfactory, according to assistant coach Tito Garcia.

Javier Aguirre's largely inexperienced squad had finished their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a draw, substitute Mahmoud Trezeguet scoring for Egypt in the 1-1 stalemate away in Niger on Friday.

However, on Tuesday, an early Paul Onuachu goal ensured the Pharaohs succumbed to a loss in Asaba, with Gracia ruing missed chances in the encounter as the Super Eagles rearguard held out for a first win over the north Africans in 29 years.

“Overall we are satisfied with the players and what they performed on the pitch. Certainly, there is a difference between the Niger game and the Nigeria one,” Garcia told an Egyptian local radio station, per KingFut.

“The circumstances of the Niger game were tough. It was difficult to play good football in such weather and circumstances, especially on that ground. The players could not express themselves in the ideal way.

“Things were different against Nigeria. We conceded after eight seconds, we had several chances but we couldn’t exploit them.

With the Cairo derby set for Saturday and a number of Al Ahly and Zamalek players sharing locker rooms during the international break, Gracia said things were 'perfect' between the representatives of the archrivals.

“The rapport between Al Ahly and Zamalek players is outstanding. Things were perfect between them in camp and we wish them the best in their game on Sunday.”