Cuper: Egypt Targeting Russia 2018, Not AFCON

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Egypt head coach Hector Cuper says they’re not targeting glory at the African cup of nations, but looking to the world cup in 2018.

The pharaohs who have won the tournament the most, with seven titles are making a return after missing out for seven years.

Egypt are in group D, drawn alongside four-time champions Ghana, Mali and Uganda.

“The expectations here in Cairo [for the Afcon] are very high,” Cuper told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“[This is] mainly due to the traditions that accompany us [for being] the nation with most African titles and the hunger of the fans after missing the last three editions.

“I repeat that our main goal is Russia 2018. I am saying this because if things were to go wrong in Gabon, all the good effort that has been done in recent period will be undermined.

“Secondly, we have what it takes to win; we are not inferior to anybody but we will see what happens.

“I would be fine if we arrive in the final to continue my own tradition.

“I have played many finals and I lost a lot, but I am sure Egyptians will forgive if we [fail] in Gabon.”

Cuper’s side have gotten off to the best possible start in the African Zone last round qualifying for the 2018 World Cup with two wins in two games so far.

The Pharaohs, who last appeared at the World Cup in 1990, picked a 2-1 away win over Congo on matchday one, before handing Ghana a 2-0 defeat in Cairo.

Cuper was appointed Egypt coach in March 2015.



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