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How Olyroos' doomed quarterfinal bid vs Egypt unfolded

(Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
Expert
28th July, 2021
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The Olyroos go into their clash with Egypt in Rifu knowing their Olympic destiny is still in their own hands, with a draw set to be enough to clinch second place in a tight Group C.

Graham Arnold’s men will need to be wary of an ambush from the Egyptians. The Pharaohs are yet to score a goal in the group stage, however the African heavyweights scored plenty prior to the Games. They even downed Brazil 2-1 in Cairo late last year and while all but one member of their squad is based domestically, they boast enough attacking talent to pose a threat at the rarely used Miyagi Stadium.

Egypt had hoped talisman Mohamed Salah would be available but said Liverpool had no desire to release the striker for the Olympics. Galatasaray were similarly not keen on seeing striker Mostafa Mohamed travel to Japan, while experienced Aston Villa midfielder Trezeguet is injured, leaving the Pharaohs somewhat undermanned. They’ve still called up an experienced trio of overaged players, with goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy joined by Saudi-based skipper Ahmed Hegazi and Zamalek defender Mahmoud Hamdy in a battle-hardened squad.

The Olyroos have a few selection headaches of their own, with regulars Nathaniel Atkinson, Riley McGree and Mitch Duke all missing through suspension. Kye Rowles, Caleb Watts and Nick D’Agostino are expected to come in for the missing trio and while Duke has worked tirelessly up front, there’s a hope that D’Agostino might offer slightly more of an attacking threat for Australia.

A win over Egypt would see the Olyroos finish on six points and guarantee them a spot in the quarter-finals. They’d even top the group if Spain and Argentina draw in Group C’s other fixture. If Spain down Argentina, as expected, then Australia will almost certainly finish second in the group – provided, of course, they can take at least a point off the Pharaohs.

Game information

Kick-off: 9:00pm (AEST)
Venue: Miyagi Stadium, Rifu
TV: Channel Seven
Online: 7plus

Teams

Olyroos
1. Thomas Glover, 2. Nathaniel Atkinson, 3. Kye Rowles, 4. Jay Rich-Baghuelou, 5. Harry Souttar, 6, Keanu Baccus, 7. Reno Piscopo, 8. Riley McGree, 9. Nicholas D’Agostino, 10. Denis Genreau, 11. Daniel Arzani, 12. Mitch Duke, 13. Dylan Pierias, 14. Thomas Deng, 15. Caleb Watts, 16, Joel King, 17. Connor Metcalfe, 18. Ashley Maynard-Brewer, 19. Marco Tilio, 20. Lachlan Wales, 21. Cameron Devlin, 22. Jordan Holmes

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Egypt
1. Mohamed Elshenawy, 2. Ammar Hamdy, 3. Karim Fouad, 4. Osama Galal, 5. Mohamad Abdelsalam, 6. Ahmed Hegazy, 7. Salah Mohsen, 8. Nasser Maher, 9. Taher Mohamed, 10. Ramadan Sobhi, 11. Ibrahim Adel, 12. Akram Tawfik, 13. Karim Eraky, 14. Ahmed Rayan, 15. Emam Ashour, 16. Mahmoud Gad, 17. Ahmed Ramadan, 18. Mahmoud El Wench, 19. Abdel Rahman, 20. Ahmed Foutouh, 21. Nasser Mansy, 22. Mohamed Sobhy

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