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Egypt’s national team faces historic setback in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group stage

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Egypt’s national football team has encountered an unprecedented setback in its history during the group stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, held in Ivory Coast.

Despite advancing to the knockout stage, the team registered a negative milestone by conceding six goals in the group matches, concluding with three draws, each ending 2-2.

The unfavorable record of allowing six goals in the group stage marks a departure from Egypt’s formidable defensive history in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Such a performance has not been witnessed since the 1990 edition of the tournament, held in Algeria, making this a sobering moment for the Pharaohs after 34 years.

The decision to participate with a secondary squad, orchestrated by the late Mahmoud El-Gohary, the former coach of the national team, contributed to this unexpected outcome.

El-Gohary opted for a strategic approach, choosing not to field the first-choice team in preparation for the upcoming World Cup.

Drawn into a challenging group alongside host country Algeria, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast, Egypt commenced the tournament with a 3-1 defeat, followed by a 1-1 draw against Nigeria, and a subsequent 2-0 loss to Algeria.

Despite this unexpected performance, Egypt secured a spot in the knockout stage by finishing second in Group B, courtesy of three draws.

The team’s resilience and qualification underscore their determination to overcome challenges in the later stages of the competition.

The disappointing defensive record in the group stage serves as a historical anomaly for a team renowned for its defensive prowess.

As Egypt prepares for the knockout rounds, fans and analysts await the team’s response and tactical adjustments to address the uncharacteristic vulnerability displayed in the early stages of the tournament.

The Africa Cup of Nations has witnessed a unique turn of events for Egypt, prompting reflection on the team’s strategies and the broader implications for African football.

As the knockout stage unfolds, all eyes will be on Egypt’s national team to see if they can overcome this historic setback and pursue success in the tournament.

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