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Leisure - Sports

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-10-15 05:58:15
Egypt are aware they need to give their fans back home something to cheer about and, to do so, they will have a remove a tough hurdle in their to bid to end a 24-year wait for a World Cup appearance. Football remains a source of pride for a turmoil-stricken country that is struggling to restore order in the aftermath of the army's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July. Headline-grabbing news about regular clashes and death tolls are likely to make way for Egypt's anticipated game against Ghana in Kumasi in the first leg of the World Cup qualifying playoff on Tuesday. "For me, when I came to Egypt everyone talked about the dream of going to the World Cup," said American coach Bob Bradley, who took over from highly-successful boss Hassan Shehata who, despite leading the Pharaohs to three consecutive Nations Cup titles, failed to end their lengthy World Cup drought. "There have been all sorts of challenges in the year and half that I have been in Egypt. The country changes every day, but one thing that never changes is this dream to go to the World Cup, and every time we have a chance to get together with the players this is what we focus on. "In Egypt, everyone speaks about their World Cup dream, regardless of their political background. Qualification could indicate that the country is moving forward." Egypt can take heart from a perfect record in the group-stage, during which they collected maximum 18 points from six games, but Ghana are far more tougher than the likes of Guinea, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Ghana bagged 15 points in Group D to beat 2012 Nations Cup winners Zambia to a place in the final two-legged playoff, scoring 18 goals and conceding only three in the process. Their brick wall at the back will be sternly tested against an Egypt side known for their counter-attacking abilities after defensive trio Jonathan Mensah, John Boye and Isaac Vorsah were ruled out of the game due to injuries. "We did a lot of work. We studied Ghana well; we respect them, but at the same time we are a good team," Bradley said of the Black Stars, whose last competitive meeting against Egypt ended in a 1-0 defeat in the 2010 Nations Cup final. "We must be smart in Kumasi. We need to play with the right mentality; intellectually but with confidence." Ghana will also be without influential midfield duo Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mohammed Rabiu but their rich squad still includes the likes of Chelsea’s Michael Essien and Rubin Kazan’s Mubarak Wakaso.'Big game' "It's a big game. It's a game which is important to all Ghanaians and every member on my team is aware of that," Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said. "Egypt are seven-time African champions and trying to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990. That will give them some added boost going into the game." Egypt will be keen to erase the bitter memories of the last time they took part in a World Cup playoff. In 2009, they forced a decider against Algeria after scoring deep into stoppage time to claim a dramatic 2-0 in Cairo, sparking wild celebrations in the football-mad country. However, a sense of apparent complacency took its toll on the team, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Sudan to miss out on the 2010 South Africa finals. Boosted by the return from injury of forward Mohamed Nagy 'Gedo', who scored the remarkable winner over Ghana in 2010, Egypt will almost be at full-strength in Kumasi. Classy playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, rock-solid defender Wael Gomaa and central midfielder Hossam Ghaly - the trio who were part of Egypt's so-called golden generation - are aware it would be their last chance to experience World Cup football in the twilight of their careers. The three men were the pillars of a powerful Egyptian side under Shehata but something is still missing in their list of honours. "We promise all Egyptians that we will do our best to go to Brazil, especially following our good results in the previous round. We respect their players, but we are determined to win," Ahly's veteran defender Gomaa said. Source : Ahram
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-10-13 07:25:49
Egypt have been asked to provide security guarantees following Ghana's request to move next month's World Cup playoff out of Cairo because of safety fears. FIFA have responded to Ghana's request to relocate the match to a neutral venue by giving the Egyptian Football Association an October 28 deadline to provide comprehensive security assurances for the second leg of the playoff tie between the countries. The aggregate winner will qualify for next year's finals in Brazil. FIFA said they would consider switching the venue for the November 19 match from Cairo if they are not satisfied with the security plans. "Although all our hopes and wishes sincerely expect that the security situation (in Egypt) will go back to normal in a definite manner we would need to consider alternatives in the event that this were not the case in November," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke wrote in a letter to both associations. Ghana released it to reporters on Saturday. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-09-26 08:18:07
Egypt's soccer team will play in Cairo for the first time in two years when it competes for a spot in the World Cup. The Egyptian soccer association decided Wednesday to hold the second leg of the World Cup playoff Nov. 19 against Ghana at a military stadium in the violence-hit capital. The EFA also said that fans would be allowed in to watch the game at the 30 June Stadium, a military-owned venue recently renamed to commemorate the day this year when millions of Egyptians took to the streets to demand the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The decision to play in Cairo for the first time since late 2011 was made after discussions among the national soccer body, state authorities and sports minister Taher Abouzeid, a former player. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-09-22 07:26:59
Pedro Rodriguez scored three goals and Victor Valdes saved another penalty in Barcelona's 4-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, keeping the defending Spanish league champions perfect through five rounds. Pedro scored from a pass by Lionel Messi in the 33rd minute and added two more goals in the 47th and 72nd after Valdes saved his second penalty in four days following his stop in Wednesday's 4-0 over Ajax in the Champions League. The Spain forward has five goals this season, making him the league's second-leading scorer behind Messi with six. Cesc Fabregas capped the rout in the 80th with Rayo bravely searching for a consolation goal. Barcelona provisionally took sole possession of the league lead, which Atletico Madrid could share if it won at Valladolid later. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-09-10 08:09:26
Staging the tournament in the Middle East has caused much controversy because if it is held over its traditional dates in the middle of the year, players will have to contend with searing 50 degrees Celsius heat. Calls to move the World Cup to later in the year, during the European winter, have also been unpopular as it will cause major disruption to domestic league competitions in countries such as Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France. Asked by about awarding Qatar the tournament, Blatter said: "It may well be that we made a mistake at the time." Blatter, who in May said it was "not rational" to play in Qatar in June and July, added: "On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities. "The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all? More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-09-10 08:02:48
Hard to believe this is the same Rafael Nadal who was at home during the U.S. Open a year ago, nursing a bad left knee. Hard to believe this is the guy sent packing in the first round of Wimbledon in June, losing against someone ranked 135th. Looking fit as can be, and tough as — maybe even better than — ever, the No. 2-ranked Nadal pulled away from No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday in a taut, tense U.S. Open final for his 13th Grand Slam title. They started in sunlight and finished at nighttime, a 3-hour, 21-minute miniseries full of cliffhangers and plot twists and a pair of protagonists who inspired standing ovations in the middle of games. There was no quit in either of them, during points that lasted 15, 25, even more than 50 strokes. This was their 37th match against each other, the most between any two men in the Open era, and third head-to-head U.S. Open final in the last four years. Nadal beat Djokovic for the 2010 title, and Djokovic won their rematch in 2011. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-09-08 07:34:59
Tokyo was awarded the 2020 summer Games on Saturday, beating Istanbul in a head-to-head vote after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had addressed the International Olympic Committee in person to allay fears over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The Japanese capital won the right to stage the sporting extravaganza for the second time, having hosted in 1964 when the Games first went to Asia, after two years of intense lobbying and tens of millions of dollars spent. For Istanbul it was a fifth unsuccessful bid to host a summer Olympics. Madrid, which had pitched a safe, affordable, "sensible" bid had been earlier eliminated first in a secret vote by International Olympic Committee members on a head to head with Istanbul after the two cities were tied in second place after the initial vote. Their attempt to host 2020 had been a third consecutive bid. The next summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2016. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-09-03 07:24:47
Egypt's Ahly announced on Monday that Mohamed Nagy 'Gedo' will re-join Hull City on a season-long loan, few hours after saying they had rejected an offer from the English Premier League side for the Egypt forward.Ahly made a U-turn after convincing Gedo to extend his current deal with the Cairo giants for two years. "The club have accepted Hully's offer after Gedo penned a new deal. Gedo's contract was due to expire at the end of the season. He is now tied to the club until 2016," Ahly, who were apparently worried that they risked losing the player for nothing if they accepted Hull's loan offer, said in a statement on their official website. Gedo revealed on Sunday that Hull were interested in re-signing him on loan, expressing his desire to re-join the club he played for in the second half of last season. However, Ahly football director Hadi Khashba said earlier on Monday that Gedo "was not for sale", citing head coach Mohamed Youssef's reluctance to offload one of his prized assets. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-08-18 07:28:25
Zamalek’s hopes of earning a semi-final berth at the African Champions League were dealt a huge blow after their defensive woes allowed Orlando Pirates to claim a 4-1 victory in South Africa on Saturday. Goals from Lennox Bacela, Tlou Segolela, Sifiso Myeni and Daine Klate condemned Zamalek to an embarrassing defeat that leaves them with an uphill climb to avoid a likely exit from the group stage of Africa’s premier club competition. Winger Mahmoud Abdel-Razek ‘Shikabka’ scored a consolation for the success-starved Cairo side, who had to do without striker Ahmed Gaafar and central defender Mahmoud Fathallah due to automatic suspension. The defeat leaves them at the bottom of the group with a solitary point from three games, three behind arch-rivals Ahly and Congo’s AC Leopards and six adrift of leaders Orlando Pirates, who crushed Ahly 3-0 in Egypt in their previous game. Zamalek’s cautious approach saw coach Helmi Toulan deploy a three-man midfield and two deep-lying forwards without an established striker but the strategy hardly paid off, with Orlando Pirates given too much space to operate around the penalty area. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2013-08-05 08:54:28
Ahly manager Mohamed Youssef expressed his displeasure concerning Ahly's 3-0 defeat against Orlando Pirates of South Africa on Sunday, added the team played under very difficult circumstances.The defending champions conceded their heaviest home defeat in the African Champions League after slumping to a stunning 3-0 loss to South Africa’s Orlando Pirates in the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna. "We suffered a heavy defeat but we played the game under very difficult circumstances," Youssef told Ahram Sports after Sunday's game. "The players played while fasting in a very heat atmosphere that's why they appeared out of form." Ahly players were forced to play while fasting, as it is the Muslim month of Ramadan, on Sunday afternoon in Gouna stadium due to the lack of floodlights after the Egyptian security turned down Ahly's request to have their Champions’ League group match in Cairo or Alexandria. Despite Sunday's defeat, Ahly's coach stressed that his side still has a chance to qualify for the competition's semis. He vowed to not repeat the same mistakes made against the Orlando Pirates ahead of their match against the AC Leopards, set to be played on 17 August in Congo. Ahly lie now at the bottom of group A with only one point, three points behind leading South African rivals Orlando Pirates. "We have learned a lot of lessons from Sunday's defeat, and I will do my best to avoid all mistakes against the Leopards." "We still have a chance in the competition and we will fight to keep our chances alive." More»