After a defeat to Morocco in the final of the U23 African Cup of Nations, Egypt’s U23 coach Rogerio Micale has said they don’t deserve to lose the game.
Morocco’s under-23 national team claimed victory in the continental tournament final, beating 10-man Egypt 2-1 to clinch their first-ever title on Saturday.
In a press conference following the game, Micale voiced his sadness over the outcome, highlighting the outstanding performance delivered by his players.
“I am very sad for losing the title because of reasons unrelated to football. Our players were champions who delivered an outstanding game,” Micale said.
Despite an early goal by midfielder Mahmoud Saber, Egypt’s hopes were dashed when Saber received a red card in the 18th minute for a reckless challenge on Moroccan forward Abde Ezzalzouli.
“It was a very big game. We dominated from the start until the sending-off of one of our players,” the coach said.
“We managed to survive despite the shortage and we felt we were close to the title, but there were some circumstances unrelated to football,” he concluded.
Egypt, Morocco and Mali, who defeated Guinea in the third-place decider, have already secured their spots in the 2024 Paris Olympics as the top three teams from the tournament.