Egypt faces Mozambique in the opening

General view Egypt Training ahead of the 2021 Beach Soccer African Cup of Nations in Thies, Saly in Senegal on 22 May 2021 © Alain SuffoBackpagePix (3)

The Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal 2021 opener will pit Egypt, one of the continent’s flagship teams, against minnows Mozambique. The match will kick off this Sunday, 23 May 2021 at 3:00 p.m. local time and GMT.

CAFOnline.com spoke to the coaches of both teams on the eve of the first game.

General view Mozambique Training ahead of the 2021 Beach Soccer African Cup of Nations in Thies, Saly in Senegal on 22 May 2021 © Alain SuffoBackpagePix

Abineiro Ussaca, Mozambique Mambas Coach

“We’re here to make a difference, we will take all matches as a final. Our group is made up of the best teams. I think Morocco, Egypt and Seychelles are great teams. It's still the beginning but I want to offer the best to my country and take the name of Mozambique to the top. For that, it will be necessary to respect all the teams.

“I am thinking of next year when we will host the 2022 Beach Soccer AFCON edition. We will be in our country with more experience. Playing against these big teams is a plus.”

General view Egypt Training ahead of the 2021 Beach Soccer African Cup of Nations in Thies, Saly in Senegal on 22 May 2021 © Alain SuffoBackpagePix (4)

Moustafa Loutfy, Pharaohs of Egypt Coach

“We did a good preparation for the competition, in particular a good camp. Players know exactly what to do in attack and defense. In the two previous editions of the Beach Soccer AFCON, we were unhappy, reaching the semi-finals but never the final. This year the tournament is not just about getting us to the World Cup, but we also have to come home with the champions’ trophy.

Morocco is a team to respect, and the meetings between us are derbies. Their players are very experienced, but we know them well, and individually we know each player and how good they are.

We will focus on this game because it will be the decisive game. So, if we are aiming for the trophy, we have to be prepared to face any team.”