BENGUELA, January 26 – Egypt striker Mohamed Zidan says his team's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Algeria here on Thursday will be a 'war', which Egypt have to win to prove they deserved to feature at the World Cup.Egypt failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in South Africa after bitter regional rivals Algeria pipped them 1-0 in a play-off in Sudan after both teams were tied on the same points and goal difference in the qualifiers.
In November, both the World Cup qualifier in Cairo and the subsequent play-off in Sudan witnessed several violent scenes that world football ruling body FIFA are now investigating.
"It will be a matter of life and death in that game. For both sides it will be like a war," said the Borussia Dortmund star after the Pharaohs defeated Cameroon 3-1 in a Nations Cup quarter-final on Monday.
"For us it is a chance to show the world that we deserve to go to the World Cup and if we beat them, we will be able to watch the World Cup with pride.
"We are the ones who do not have any pressure. We are the champions and we are better than them. Everybody will see which is the better team."
Egypt are on course for a record seventh Nations Cup title in Angola after they won the continental trophy in 1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006 and 2008.