Sierra Leone coach Amidu Karim said on Monday he is confident in his team’s chances against Egypt in their World Cup qualifier on Friday.

Karim, a former player who had a successful career in the Egyptian league in the 1990s, said he was looking forward to facing the Pharaohs, who have some of the best players in Africa.

“We will play hard against the Egyptian national team and I think it will be a great match,” Karim told the local media.

“Egypt has very distinguished players, and I am happy to be with them in the group. The friction with strong teams is beneficial for us,” he added.

Egypt, who have won the African Cup of Nations a record seven times, are the favourites to top Group A, which also includes Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

The Pharaohs will start their campaign against Djibouti on Thursday, while Sierra Leone played a 0-0 draw away to Ethiopia on Wednesday.

Karim said he had fond memories of his time in Egypt, where he played for the Republic of Shebin, Ghazl El Suez.

“I loved Egypt very much and I have wonderful memories in the Egyptian league,” he said.

“I’ve scored against both Al Ahly and Zamalek in the past. It was a particularly special moment for me when I scored a goal for Zamalek while playing for the Republic of Shebin club. I’ll never forget that experience,” he recalled.

Karim, who took charge of Sierra Leone in October 2023, hoped to lead his country to their first World Cup appearance.

Courtesy: Ahram Online