Cape Town — After his side played second fiddle to Nigeria, the Pharaohs coach Carlos Queiroz did not take too kindly to the defeat as he made his way off the pitch only to be confronted by an Egyptian fan who hurled abuse at him.
Queiroz remonstrated with the angry fan and invited him onto the field. Security ground staff tried to usher Queiroz to the dressing room.
Nigeria defeated Egypt 1-0 in Tuesday's Afcon Group D fixture. Afterwards, Queiroz was annoyed with the referee, Bakary Gassama of Gambia, for failing to award Egypt a penalty late in the match.
"Come down here and face me!"#TeamEgypt boss Carlos Queiroz in the mood for a fight after fans confront him about playing Hamdi Fathy vs #TeamNigeria. #JoySports #AfconwithGary pic.twitter.com/djxmDyh2mS— Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) January 12, 2022
Some 10 minutes from the end, Nigeria's French-based winger Moses Simon slipped in his penalty area, and in the process, brought down Ahmed Sayed, the Egyptian midfielder.
All the Egyptian players crowded around the referee, hoping for a penalty. Gassama said Sayed had committed a foul to warrant a penalty, and his judgment was confirmed after the official consulted VAR. Nigeria was handed a relieving free kick.
Queiroz was convinced that the referee had blundered, and instead of the North Africans drawing the match, they suffered a 1-0 defeat. Afterwards, he said: "Even my grandmother would have given Egypt a penalty."
All afternoon, Egyptian fans questioned Queiroz's team selection and his decision to play two key players out of position. Even though Egypt enjoyed a greater share of possession, they only managed four shots at goal, compared to 15 by the Super Eagles, three-time AFCON champions.
"The performance in the first half was very poor, and this is the truth, we were not on the field," said Queiroz.
"We started playing in the second half, and there was no reason for this failure and loss against Nigeria.
"We lost this match, but there are six points we must get against Sudan and Guinea Bissau to qualify.
"Egypt couldn’t have asked for a worse start to their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign in terms of both result and performance."
Kelechi Iheanacho, who plies his trade in England for Premier League club Leicester City scored the only goal in the match on the half-hour.
It was one of the finest performances by Nigeria in recent months and a fine start to the 2021 AFCON campaign for interim coach Austin Eguavoen.
On Tuesday, the Nigerian Football Federation announced that Jose Peseiro will take over as the Super Eagles new coach immediately after the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. He will take over Austin Eguavoen, who is currently leading the team in Cameroon.
Peseiro, a former Portuguese player and manager, previously coached the Venezuela national team.