CAIRO: The Egyptian Under-23 national team will have to win against Mali Saturday in order to qualify for the semi finals of the African Cup of Nations qualifier for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic games.
After drawing in their opening match against Algeria 1-1 and Nigeria 2-2, Egypt sit in the third place of Group B, with two points from a possible six.
Algeria and Nigeria top the group B level with four points each, while Mali have been already eliminated after losing against Nigeria and Algeria 3-2 and 2-0, respectively.
However, the Pharaoh’s victory over Mali may not see Egypt march directly to the semi-finals unless Saturday’s tackle between Algeria and Nigeria sees a goalless or a 1-1 draw. However, the two tackles will be played at the same time at 07:00 p.m. Cairo local time.
Only the top two teams of each group qualify to the competition’s semi final, while the top three teams of the tournament will have their spots secured in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Group A includes hosts Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, and Tunisia.
“I have a target and it is to qualify for the Olympics, no matter what the names of the opponents in the group are,” Egypt U-23 coach Hossam el Badry told Al Ahram Thursday.