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Egypt is perfect in World Cup qualifying under Coach Bob Bradley

September 10, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Egypt Coach Bob Bradley speaks to midfielder Hussam Ghali during a friendly match against Nigeria in April 2012.
Egypt Coach Bob Bradley speaks to midfielder Hussam Ghali during a friendly… (Karim Sahib / AFP/Getty…)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley continues to work miracles in Egypt.

Tuesday he guided his team to a 4-2 win over Guinea in a World Cup qualifying match played in an empty stadium in the Egyptian resort city of El-Gouna for security reasons. The win left Egypt as the only team in the world with a perfect record, having won six straight, in qualifying for Brazil 2014.

The win also sends the Egyptians to the third and final round of African qualifying, a two-leg playoff against an as-yet unnamed opponent. The winner of the home-and-away series will advance to Brazil and the World Cup, a tournament Egypt has played in only once since 1934.

The success of Bradley's team is both surprising and important in Egypt, a country that reveres soccer but one that has been wracked by political violence during most of Bradley's term. That has forced the country's top domestic league to suspend play on more than one occasion. And the national team, which has had to leave the country to train, has played two of its three home qualifiers in empty stadiums; the third was played before a small handpicked crowd.

Egypt fell behind early Tuesday on a fourth-minute own-goal but rallied to take a 2-1 lead on a second-half penalty kick from Mohamed Aboutrika, who was playing in his 100th cap.

Guinea tied the score six minutes later, but goals from Mohamed Salah and Amr Zaki in the final seven minutes of regulation helped Bradley preserve his perfect record.

Bradley, who formerly coached in Major League Soccer with Chivas USA, among other teams, led the U.S. national team to the second round of the 2010 World Cup before being fired after a 4-2 loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup in 2011. He was hired by the Egyptian soccer federation in the fall of 2011.

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