Head coach of the Egyptian national team Carlos Queiroz Tuesday night admitted that they produced a very weak display and lost to a better side in Nigeria in the opening Group D match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles overcame the Pharaoh’s thanks to the 30th minute strike by Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho who is one of 13 Nigerian players making their debuts at the tournament.
The Eagles were defeated 3-1 by Egypt the last time both sides met at the tournament in 2010.
“The performance in the first-half was very poor, and that’s the truth, we weren’t on the pitch,” Queiroz told beIN Sport TV after the game.
“We only started playing in the second-half. There’s no clear reason behind this failure and defeat against Nigeria.
“We lost this match but there are still six points up for grabs against Sudan and Guinea-Bissau in order to qualify from the group,” he stated.
Nigeria sit on top of Group D and will play against Sudan on Saturday. A win for Austin Eguavoen’s team will guarantee the team passage to the round of 16.
Ten minutes to the end of the game, the Egyptian players pressurized Bakary Gassama to award a penalty after Moses Simon slipped and brought down Zizo but the Gambian official disagreed, ruling that the foul was committed by the Zamalek winger.
“In the second half, there was a penalty very clear for us that the referee did not whistle, and the VAR did not intervene.
“Maybe at that time the VAR was not working. There was clearly a penalty. It was not our day, it was also not a good day for refereeing.
“Even my grandmother would have blown for this penalty on the fault on our player. It’s a disaster because there are referees from VAR.
“This is unacceptable. Watch the action yourself. It’s amazing that with all these referees, no one indicated the fault,” a furious Queiroz lamented.