Soccer-Vitoria’s days as Egypt coach may be numbered after AFCON exit

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(Reuters) – Egypt coach Rui Vitoria faces an uncertain future after their embarrassing last 16 exit at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday, with critics pointing the finger at him following a series of lacklustre displays.


The record seven-time African champions lost 8-7 on penalties to the Democratic Republic of Congo following a 1-1 draw after extra time in San Pedro.

DR Congo had the majority of chances and could have settled the game in extra time when Egypt went down to 10 men after Mohamed Hamdy was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Portuguese coach Vitoria attributed the defeat to bad luck, saying there are “happy and sad moments” in football.

“Sometimes you do your best, but the result does not come as you expect it,” he told reporters.

Toothless in attack and shaky at the back, Egypt bowed out of the tournament without a single win, having sneaked into the knockout stage with three 2-2 draws in their group.

Their cause was not helped by the loss of some key players to injury, including talisman Mohamed Salah and first-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawy.


Their poor displays in the Ivory Coast were in stark contrast to their fine run under Vitoria before the tournament. Egypt won 12 times in 14 games under the 53-year-old before heading to the Nations Cup, losing only once.

“Vitoria is primarily responsible for Egypt’s elimination,” the team’s former defender Wael Gomaa, who won three Nations Cup titles from 2006 to 2010, said on beIN Sports.

“He brought out the worst in the players, and he lacked a creative touch.

“We were supposed to at least reach the semi-finals because our path was easier than the competitors.”

– TheStar

(Reporting by Hatem Maher; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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