Egypt fired manager Javier Aguirre following a shock 1-0 defeat to South Africa in the last-16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
In front of around 70,000 fans in Cairo, Egypt were left stunned as South Africa claimed an unlikely victory on Saturday night to knock the hosts out of the AFCON.
The Pharaohs were caught out by South Africa’s quick passing and counter-attacking moves. Although goalkeeper Mohamed El Shennawi spared their blushes by brilliantly denying Percy Tau’s free-kick after 24 minutes.
Egypt, who had won all three of their AFCON games prior to Saturday, were mostly subdued throughout the encounter. Mahmoud Trezeguet had their best chances to score, but he ended up hitting the ball straight at keeper Ronwen Williams.
Then, in the final five minutes, Thembinkosi Lorch grabbed the match-winner for South Africa. It meant that Egypt had not only lost in front of their home fans, but also failed to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004.
Following this shock defeat, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) president Hany Abou-Rida resigned. He posted a message on the EFA’s Twitter confirming his exit and that of the entire technical and administrative staff.
Therefore, Aguirre is also out of a job despite only being appointed head coach of Egypt last year. The Mexican, who had a contract until 2022, accepted responsibility for his side’s shock defeat.
“Of course I am responsible,” said Aguirre.
“We are all upset about the early elimination and I bear all the consequences because I chose the players and the formation.”
Aguirre had won nine of his 12 matches in charge of Egypt and only suffered two defeats. In that time, the Pharaohs had smashed home 25 goals during the 60-year-old’s reign.
South Africa, meanwhile, will meet Nigeria in the AFCON quarter-finals on Wednesday in Cairo.
— Egypt National Football Team (@Pharaohs) July 6, 2019