Group A tough: Zim opponents
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.”