Nigeria/Egypt: Cuper Praises Eagles

By Tony Ubani

Egypt coach Hector Cuper has praised the Super Eagles despite the 1-0 win over Nigeria which guaranteed the Pharaohs a place at Gabon 2017.

Egypt beat Nigeria 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Borg Al-Arab Stadium in Alexandria with Radwan Sobhi grabbing the winner which took Egypt to an unassailable seven points with only one game left in the series. The loss meant Nigeria will miss the Africa Cup of Nations for the second straight time after missing the 2013 in Equatorial Guinea.

Cuper praised the Nigerian team and said if the Nigeria Football Federation can keep the team they will be hard to beat. “We (Egypt) had a very good first half but a bad second half but I’m happy with what my players did overall,”he said

“Nigeria are a very good side with lots of players in the big leagues in Europe.

“I respect the Super Eagles players and I was edgy during the game but I’m happy we have been able to pull through. It’s a shame Nigeria won’t be at the Africa Cup of Nations,” Cuper added.

The Argentine coach also responded to why he didn’t play top striker Ahmed ‘Kouka’ Hassan during the win over the Eagles even as fans were calling on the coach to bring on the striker.

“I have nothing against Hassan, he is an important player for our team but I felt this wasn’t the kind of game I needed him,”Cuper said

“He didn’t fit into my plans so that’s why he didn’t get to start. There are many other games and he will get his chance just like everyone else on the team.

Egypt, seven time winners of the trophy, will be making a return to the Africa Cup of Nations after missing the last three editions.

Source: All Africa