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AFCON 2017: Egypt hopes to break 31-year-curse with Morocco

Egypt finally qualified for the African Cup's quarterfinals on Wednesday after seven years [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 28 January, 2017

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Finally qualifying for the African Cup's quarterfinals after seven years, The Pharaohs are hoping to win against Morocco for the first time since 1986.

The African Cup of Nations' most successful team is hoping to break a 31-year curse in an upcoming match against Morocco, who have either won or tied with Egypt since 1986.

Egypt's national team, known as The Pharaohs, finally qualified for the African Cup's quarterfinals on Wednesday after seven years.

A 1-0 win over Ghana ensured its long-awaited return to the championship will continue for at least a little while longer.

Egyptian soccer has been held back by the major political upheavals back home.

"Our ambition is very high," Egypt's Argentinian coach Hector Cuper said after Wednesday's win.

"We're so enthusiastic and we're so motivated. My message to the Egyptian people is: We are going to fight in the coming games, we are going to play our best."

Egypt needed to win to make sure it progressed, while Ghana had already qualified.

But the victory also gave Egypt renewed hope that it can compete with the best again at the Cup of Nations, a tournament it won for the third straight time in 2010, breaking all records, before the collapse came.

The reward for Egypt is a match-up with North African rival Morocco in the quarterfinals, a game that's sure to get the passions rising.

"This next game is going to be another tough game but we're going to play with the same fighting spirit as we did today," Cuper said.

Egypt's and Morocco's teams have met in 17 official matches over their history, of which Morocco won eight and Egypt won two, while they tied seven times. These include five matches in African Cup finals.

The quarterfinal schedule for Gabon's African Cup is Burkina Faso vs. Tunisia and Senegal vs. Cameroon on Saturday, and Egypt vs. Morocco and Congo vs. Ghana on Sunday.

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