Hosts Egypt are looking to guarantee their knockout stages place when they lock horns with the Leopards of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their Group A match day two on Wednesday.
The Pharaohs opened the tournament with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in front of 70,000 supporters at the Cairo International Stadium.
The number of fans who watched their first match are likely to be repeated on Wednesday as the hosts are thirsty for a record of extending their AFCON title.
While not convincing most of their die-hard fans with their opening game performance, Egypt coach Javier Aguirre looks for what matters most, the three points.
“We had some defects especially in the second half, but what’s important is that we started the campaign with a win”, the Mexican tactician said after the opening game.
While defender Ahmed Hegazi might be doubtful after having a head injury against Zimbabwe, it’s most likely that Aguirre will field an unchanged lineup on Wednesday, with Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah once again being the man to watch for.
On the other hand, DR Congo enters the game knowing well that another defeat can see them facing an early elimination threat. The Leopards who were favorites to join hosts Egypt to the knockout stages, but they were shocked by Uganda Cranes on Saturday.
“We had a bad game and deserved to lose against Uganda. Now we have to do it the hard way”, admitted DR Congo Florent Ibenge.
It’s the fourth time in AFCON history both sides lock horns together, and ironically three of them being in Egypt.