Excellent performance - GulfToday

Excellent performance

Ahmed Yasser Rayan

Ahmed Yasser Rayan

Thankfully the spotlight these days is on Tokyo Olympics and Egypt is in the news, not for political developments, but for its gains on the football pitch (Egypt beat Australia to join Brazil in quarter-finals,” July 29, Gulf Today).

It is indeed a great moment for Egypt to make it to the quarters by knocking heavyweight Australia out of contention. Star strikers Ahmed Yasser Rayan and Ammar Hamdy deserve credit. It is dream clash for the Egyptian side to be pitted against Brazil in the last eight, but the tie will be anything but electrifying.

Brazil are the reigning champions who won gold for the first time on home soil in Rio de Janeiro five years ago and they seem to be sound footing to repeat the feat. They finished top of Group D after defeating Saudi Arabia.

Richarlison who had a brace in the clash against the Saudi side is the leading scorer in the tournament with five goals after his hat-trick against Germany. So it will be an uphill task for Egypt. But I am sure spirits will be high in the Egyptian camp after the Australian victory, and nothing can be taken for granted. Because alongside Australia we have 2016 Olympic runners-up Germany book their tickets home after a 1-1 draw with the Ivory Coast. So is the case with France who were humbled by hosts Japan.

As for Germany it was Benjamin Henrichs’ own goal midway through the second half that proved costly. That brings me to another important aspect of football, and that is penalty shootouts. We are still at the group stage, so no shootout yet. But a penalty shootout cannot be ruled out in any tournament.

Going back to the recently concluded Euro 2021, it was sad to see England which played superbly throughout the tournament, walk home empty handed. Anyway cheers to the winners.

Aaron D’Souza
By email

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