Egypt’s Mexican coach Javier Aguirre believes Wednesday night’s encounter against DR Congo will provide a better spectacle than the Pharaohs managed in their narrow 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in their opening match.
DRC come into this fixture on the ropes. They must avoid defeat to stay in the tournament and must do it against a host nation that is equally battling with pressure of being favourites.
The one statistic that DRC will not want to look at is that they have not beaten Egypt in seven attempts, losing five of them.
But Aguirre, whose side lost steam in the second half against Zimbabwe despite the win, says that now that the pressure of the first match is out of the way, it’s ShowTime.
“The match between Uganda and Congo, they (DRC) could have put up a better performance, same with Egypt versus Zimbabwe,” said Aguirre.
“The next game will be without the pressure of the first match. I hope both teams play better for the spectacle. Both teams have to give something for the fans.”
Having played a day before Uganda beat DRC 2-0, Aguirre and his team will have watched this one.
“We have seen DRC with Uganda and they are a very hard team,” assessed the Mexican, adding: “They will be hungry after losing. We expect a hard match. But we are focused to win."
Aguirre also confirmed that Ahmed Hegazy is fit to play after the defender recovered from bruised nose suffered in a collision with a Zimbabwean player.
DRC coach Florent Ibenge understands their equation is complex. “We have to work hard. We are going to play in the next game. We didn't play against Uganda.”
Ibenge will hope Everton star Yannick Bolasie and and China-based strike Cedric Bakambu come out of their shells while Aguirre trusts his Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Elmohamady-inspired team will come to the fore.
Uganda v Zimbabwe, 8pm
Egypt v DRC, 11pm
Nigeria v Guinea, 5.30pm
Next Group A matches, Sunday June 30
Egypt v Uganda, 10pm
Zimbabwe v DRC, 10pm