The nation of Egypt is completely gripped by fever in the lead to the much anticipated FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between the Pharaohs and the Black Stars of Ghana.
The two teams clash in what has been tagged as the decider, despite it being only the second match of Group E which also comprises Congo Brazzaville and Uganda.
The powerful North African soccer nation, in spite of its dominance on the continent, has not made it to the World Cup since Italy 1990, and failed to progress in a group that consisted England, Northern Ireland and Netherlands.
The Pharaohs were one match away from qualifying to the Brazil 2014 Mundial, only to be undone by Ghana – with the first leg at the Kumasi stadium turning out to be a complete 6-1 humiliation and one of Egypt’s football nightmares.
An opportunity has presented itself again for the seven-time African champions to redeem their image against the Black Stars, and the Hector Cuper side seem to be leaving no stone unturned in their quest to get revenge served.
The entire country, we understand, has been thrown into a state of soccer frenzy with for weeks in anticipation of the clash.
As early as 2am, several vans and buses had lined up at different locations in the capital Cairo as hundreds of soccer crazy fans clad in the dominant red, white and black colours began the four -hour journey to Alexandria, the venue of the match.
At the Cairo International Airport, some workers were seen donning their national colours and making ‘3 -0 and 4-0’ predictions whenever they sight the Ghanaian visitors.
The road leading to Alexandria had started bustling at around 4am and buses had been arranged at several mosques awaiting the Muslims prayers at dawn before fans could be transported for the match.
The game is being played at the 86,000 capacity Borg El Arab stadium, in Egypt’s second largest city Alexandria.
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior has opened for up to 75,000 fans to attend the match, but it is rumored the numbers could exceed the official sanction.
The Egyptian Football Association previously announced that match tickets were sold out as 80,000 fans are expected to fill up Borg El-Arab Stadium, hoping for fine performances from the players to boost Egypt’s chance to seal World Cup qualification after 26 years of absence.
“The gates will open for the fans from 12 o’clock, six hours before kick off,’’ EFA manager, Tharwat Sweilam confirmed in televised comments.
Egypt are top of their group after managing to beat Congo away while Ghana are on one point after drawing with Uganda. The match is set to kick off on Sunday at 6 pm in Borg El-Arab Stadium, Alexandria.
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