Egypt coach hopes South Korea friendly will boost bilateral ties


SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) — For Egypt coach Ehab Galal, the upcoming soccer friendly against South Korea will be more than just a game. This will be an opportunity for the two countries to strengthen their relations.

“I think maintaining and strengthening the ties between our two countries is more important than the match itself,” Galal said through an interpreter during an online press conference on Monday, the day before. of the friendly match between the two teams at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul. “I hope both teams play a solid match worthy of our status as great nations.”

Galal also showed a heart on his finger during the presser and said it was for the South Korean team and their fans.

Galal brought a decimated team to Seoul. According to his estimate, Galal will be without ’10 or 11 players’, and none greater than Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool star who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with South Korean captain Son Heung-min last season. last.

Egypt also played two matches last week in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, beating Guinea 1-0 at home on June 5 but losing to Ethiopia 2-0 four days later in Malawi. Galal said the team had an arduous trip to South Korea, but he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to face “an important team”, like South Korea.

“We took the opportunity to come all the way to Korea after our AFCON qualifiers because we were going to face a great team preparing for the World Cup,” Galal said. “We felt it was worth making the trip. Even though we will be without several players, we still have important players with us here. I hope both countries will have a great experience playing this game.”

This will be the fourth and final friendly match for South Korea in their preparation for the World Cup. South Korea lost to Brazil 5-1 on June 2 before beating Chile 2-0 on June 6. They then faced Paraguay for a 2-2 draw last Friday.

Galal said he had watched all three games but added that he had known South Korea’s qualities for a long time.

“Even in the loss to Brazil, South Korea performed well. I think they are a very organized team and are well prepared for the World Cup,” Galal said. “I hope they will get good results at the World Cup, even if the matches there will be difficult.”

Galal said one of the notable strengths of the South Korean team is the seriousness with which the players approach every game. This is something Galal wants his players to emulate.

“We worked hard for this game and we will take the game seriously,” Galal said. “They have outstanding players in attack, especially Son Heung-min.”

Midfielder Amr El Solia, who will wear the captain’s armband in Salah’s absence, also named Son as the South Korean player he knows best.

“I know most of the players from South Korea, and I think they are all great players,” he said. “I hope the fans enjoy tomorrow’s game.”

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