MOSCOW. – Coach Hector Cuper defended his team tactics and said Egypt were unlucky to end their World Cup expedition with a third successive defeat after going down to a last-gasp goal against Saudi Arabia yesterday.
“Our strategy has not been a failure. We created at least five good chances on the counter attack and we had a very good first half in which we took the lead,” he said after the 2-1 loss followed the defeats against Uruguay and hosts Russia in Group A.
“I think we played well but the results didn’t go our way. Yes, we lost all three matches but we lost two games with goals conceded after 90 minutes. That was unlucky.
“I’m sad and disappointed but here at the World Cup we are up against the top teams in the world and even they concede goals too.”
Cuper said the counter attack game, where Mohamed Salah’s speed on the break has created many chances and goals, had been the bedrock of Egypt’s play for the 3-1/2 years since he took charge. “We’ve been told over and over again we were too defensive but we qualified for the World Cup with the same approach, and for the first time in 28 years. We got to the final of the African Nations Cup playing in this way. Sometimes I feel there is a need to criticise the performance just because we lost.” – AFP.