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Bradley faces pressure with Egypt needing Cup of Nations qualifying result

Bradley (Getty Images)

Bob Bradley is preparing to do something he hasn't had to do in months: Find a way to bounce back from a loss.

After Egypt's 3-2 loss to upstart Central African Republic in African Cup of Nations qualifying two weeks ago, Bradley's Pharaohs need to overturn that result in Saturday's second leg of their first-round qualifier to keep hopes of making it to the 2013 tournament alive — one of Bradley's two major tasks upon taking over as coach. Away goals come into play, meaning Egypt needs either at least a two-goal victory or a win of any kind in which it scores four goals to go through in regulation.

Egypt will be short-handed for the match as well. Sunderland winger Ahmed Elmohamady reportedly has a strained hamstring, while Bradley ran into a bit of controversy involving star striker Mohamed Zidan, who has left the team to focus on securing a club deal in China.

Even after guiding Egypt to a 14-game unbeaten streak that coincided with the riots and ensuing fallout from the tragedy at Port Said in February and includes two World Cup qualifying victories, reports from Egypt suggest that Bradley's future could be in jeopardy if Egypt does not get to the next ACN qualifying round, putting even more pressure on the former U.S. national team coach to pull out a favorable result. 

Do you think Egypt can turn around the first-leg result? Would be overly harsh for Bradley to lose his job if Egypt does not qualify for the next round considering what he and Egypt have been through together?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. It would be really stupid for Bradley to lose his job over that loss, although it was pretty bad since Egypt had the lead twice and had a man advantage much of the game. It’s worth watching the full highlights of the first match in order to see the completely empty stadium Egypt is forced to play in and the Central African goalkeeper punching the goalposts.

  2. The telling fact to me in terms of how pressurized the situation is, is they had 2 WC qualifiers at the start of June followed by an ACON qualifier 5 days after the last WC qualifier. That would stress any team. If the US was qualifying for both the WC and Gold Cup, in consecutive weeks? Man.

    But the domestic situation is difficult as well. The league was suspended, the domestic players probably worked together for a while, then you have to blend in the European-based for the real games, who knows how fit they are.

    But this is why they get paid the big bucks. Kind of like all those recent US games, coach’s job is to maximize results from the schedule he’s handed…

  3. This has as much to do with the stupidity of the CAF’s qualification process for both the World Cup and the ACN as anything else. ACN qualification is a pair of two-legged ties, whilst WC qualification makes it so that if you finish second in a group (which is quite easy to do in many difficult ones) you are out. Just asinine. Not trying to make excuses, but it allows no leeway whatsoever, and is partially responsible for the lack of sustained development amongst most African sides. It’s a shame that in one arena where it would not be terribly difficult for Africa to be managed appropriately it doesn’t seem to be working out. Quite frankly, the way the system’s currently set up the best teams don’t even make it to their own regional tournament, let alone the World Cup. While this could partially be the result of parity among African teams, there is a reason Africa has the second most WC spots ahead of South America yet only got one team out in the first World Cup ever held in Africa when they had one more team than usual (South Africa hosted).

  4. It’s the significance of the result. If they don’t win the away leg by 2 or more goals (or any result where they score 4 or more goals) they are out of the ACON.

    A huge, huge blow to the national team. That would be like the USA not qualifying for the Gold Cup.

  5. noone said it would be easy…

    Bob has the right to be pissed off at Mohamed Zidan, could you imagine if Dempsey, Donovan or Howard left for China in the middle of a big qualifying run. The guy has a right to make money and play where he wants but im sure that he had competitive offers in Europe!


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