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Football: Egypt coach wants to face Ghana in Cairo

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Egypt coach Bob Bradley hopes the 2014 World Cup Africa zone play-off against Ghana during November can be staged in Cairo.

Political turbulence and related violence has forced the 'Pharaohs' to play their three qualifiers in second city Alexandria and Red Sea resort El-Gouna.

Group victories over Mozambique last year and Guinea this month were achieved behind closed doors and only a few thousand supporters saw a win over Zimbabwe six months ago.

Egypt have until Friday to nominate a date, venue and kick-off time between Friday November 15 and Tuesday November 19 for the second leg.

American Bradley is hoping the game can be staged at the 73,000-capacity Cairo Stadium in a suburb of the Egyptian capital.

"We would love to play in Cairo," Bradley told reporters after the play-offs draw in Cairo. "That is the dream of the team.

"A strong, fit and focused squad is our ambition," said the coach who guided his native United States at the last World Cup.

While Bradley did not comment on crowd support, he previously said matches staged in empty stadiums "lack soul".

Although Egypt have won the Africa Cup of Nations a record seven times, they last played at the World Cup 23 years ago.

The tie offers two Egyptian veterans -- centre-back Wael Gomaa and midfielder Mohamed Abou Trika -- a last chance to secure a place at the global football showcase.

Paul Put, the Belgian coach who defied the odds by taking Burkina Faso to second place behind Nigeria at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, is happy to face Algeria.

"We have a good opportunity to reach the World Cup for the first time. Doing our homework thoroughly is so important.

"Our footballers are in good form and we have every reason to be hopeful of success," added the 'Stallions' handler.

Giantkillers Ethiopia face Nigeria, Ivory Coast meet Senegal and coach-less Tunisia tackle Cameroon in other ties with the five winners qualifying for the finals in Brazil.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130917/football-egypt-coach-wants-face-ghana-cairo