By: Hatem Maher, Al Ahram
Egypt’s all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan says Egypt and Ghana will have equal chances of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil when they meet in the highly-anticipated qualifying playoff.
Ghana host Egypt in the first leg in Kumasi on 15 October while the return leg will be played on 19 November in a yet-to-be-identified venue.
The winner of the match over the two legs will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hassan was Egypt’s hero the last time they reached the World Cup, notching the decisive goal that steered the Pharaohs to a place at the 1990 finals in Italy following a narrow win over North African rivals Algeria.
“The chances are equal in that match. Both sides have many similarities; the outcome may depend on small details,” the Jordan coach, who is also eyeing a World Cup place as his team are set to face a South American outfit in a playoff, said in a phone with interview with Al-Hayat TV.
“Ghana have some young and experienced players, many of whom are playing in strong European teams.
“Egypt are the same, boasting different types of players, including many skilful ones. We also have very good abroad-based players, led by [Basel forward] Mohamed Salah,” he added.
Hassan, who is arguably Egypt’s best-ever striker, scored 68 goals in 176 international appearances, helping the team win the African Cup of Nations titles in 1986, 1998 and 2006.
He was also famous for winning the penalty that helped Egypt cause a major upset at the 1990 World Cup after holding then European champions Holland to a 1-1 group-stage draw.