Group A tough: Zim op­po­nents

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sports Re­porter

EGYPT coach Ab­de­latif Emam be­lieves Group A, which fea­tures hosts Cameroon, South Africa, Zim­babwe and his team will be the tougher of the two pools at the 2016 African Women Cup of Nations tour­na­ment.

Emam and his squad are in Harare for an in­ter­na­tional friendly match against the Mighty War­riors at Ru­faro this af­ter­noon.

“It is re­ally a tough group for us. We have Cameroon, the host coun­try, Zim­babwe and South Africa who just came back from the Olympics and it is go­ing to be re­ally tough matches,” he said.

“Zim­babwe is a good team, I watched them at the Olympics, I did not look at the re­sult but I looked at the foot­ball it­self, how they played against cham­pi­ons of the World Ger­many and Swe­den, I looked at the qual­ity of foot­ball they played be­cause the re­sult can be some­thing else. “I watched all their matches.” The coach said play­ing a team they will meet in Cameroon, in a friendly, didn’t mat­ter at all.

“At least we can get used to play­ing each other and know each other bet­ter,” said Emam.

“No mat­ter who you are play­ing you just need to get ready, pre­pare the team and do your job.”

Egypt who are ranked ninth in Africa will be mak­ing their sec­ond ap­pear­ance at the women’s con­ti­nen­tal show­piece hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in the 1998 edi­tion.

Af­ter play­ing Zim­babwe to­day the Egyp­tians will head to Zam­bia for an­other friendly match ahead of the Nations Cup tour­na­ment which will run from Novem­ber 19 to De­cem­ber 3.

Emam brought a strong squad of 22 play­ers which in­cludes four for­eign-based, two of whom play in the United States, while the oth­ers are based in Canada and Aus­tralia.

Cameroon coach, Enow Ngachu, told the Cameroo­nian me­dia that Group A would be tough.

“Zim­babwe and South Africa are ex­pe­ri­enced teams and this makes the group more dif­fi­cult.

“All the coun­tries that qual­i­fied for the Nations Cup have to be re­spected, they merit their qual­i­fi­ca­tion and we have to be very care­ful.

“If we are psy­cho­log­i­cally pre­pared we are go­ing to come out of the group stage. Our ob­jec­tive is to grab the tro­phy and to achieve this we must chal­lenge any coun­try. We are sec­ond in Africa and it is pos­si­ble to be­come first,” said Ngachu.

Banyana Banyana skip­per Ja­nine van Wyk told the South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion web­site safa.net that the draw “is an in­ter­est­ing one’’.

“Zim­babwe will be an­other tough side to over­come as they are still fit and strong af­ter all the ex­pe­ri­ence gained at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“Al­though they lost by a (big) mar­gin of goals, they showed tremen­dous char­ac­ter to score goals, which is some­thing we lacked.

“They are very di­rect and will come out strong to show what they have learnt in Rio.”

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