File - Egypt U-23 national team
CAIRO-22 July 2021: Egypt U-23 national team will have a tough test in the opening game of the men's football tournament of Tokyo Olympic Games when they take on Spain on Thursday morning.
The Pharaohs will be facing one of the main contenders for the gold medal, Spain, who have six players from La Roja's senior team that reached the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2020 last month.
The U-23 AFCON champions, Egypt, hope to achieve a strong start at the Olympics to keep their hopes to reach the second round as they will face Argentina and Australia in the other two group stage games.
With the three senior players, Mohamed El Shenawy, Mahmoud El Wensh and Ahmed Hegazi, ready for the challenge, Shawki Gharib, the team's head coach, trusts his players to achieve what seems impossible and secure one of the top two spots in the group.
The national team concluded their preparations for the game on Wednesday in the presence of the Egyptian Football Association's president Ahmed Megahed, who supported the players ahead of the crucial game.
"We know that we are playing in the group of death but we believe in you. You are the champions of Africa and I am sure that you will represent the Egyptian and African football in an impressive way." Megahed told the players in the pre-game training.
The Pharaohs hope to follow the steps of the national team that participated in Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and achieved the fourth place.
The game start at 9:30 AM.