Bradley, Egypt bow out of qualifying with win over Ghana

BobBradleyEgypt1 (AFP_Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Bob Bradley and Egypt finished their World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday with their seventh win in eight matches.

They still fell short of reaching Brazil 2014.

Egypt defeated Ghana, 2-1, in Cairo on Tuesday but were eliminated from qualifying after falling 7-3 on aggregate in the two-legged playoff against the Black Stars, who have qualified for their third straight World Cup.

The Pharaohs entered Tuesday’s decisive match with slim hopes of making it to next summer’s tournament after losing 6-1 in Ghana in last month’s first leg, but they mustered up an admirable performance at home to bow out of a challenging qualifying campaign with a victory.

Egypt, which took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute but did not find a second until late in the second half, finishes its qualifying campaign under Bradley with a 7-1-0 record.

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What do you think of Bradley and Egypt’s elimination from qualifying? What do you think is next for Bradley? Would you rather see the U.S. Men’s National Team face or avoid Ghana next summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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59 Responses to Bradley, Egypt bow out of qualifying with win over Ghana

  1. Rakesh says:

    Absolutely insane that a team wins seven out of eight games and is eliminated from WC2014

    • Isaac says:

      Yeah, I don’t remember much, but isn’t Africa’s Qualifying system kind of a mess?

      • Paul says:

        It is not a mess, just extremely difficult. You have to finish the top of your group just to enter a home and home playoff for 1 spot. So essentially, the top 10 teams enter in to home and home with another opponent.

        A lot of times, deserving teams end up missing out. They should really look into doing a round robin with the final 10 teams, but that would take too long and the process is long enough as it is.

    • downintexas says:

      qualifying in Africa is extremely hard. You have to be number one in your group just to play a playoff game to make it to the WC.

      Plus Egypt got seeded badly despite being the only team to be undefeated in group play.

    • usaalltheway says:

      THIS.

      The qualifying process is a joke in Africa and in CONCACAF. I can’t speak for the other regions but a team like Mexico SHOULD NOT being going and a team like Egypt should be going.

      How in the hell is it okay to win so many games and NOT GO??????

      It is times like these that I because really sadden with international football (soccer). Plus, it’s heartbreaking that BB won’t be in Brazil.

      I hope Ghana gets destroyed.

      • Chupacabra says:

        Preach the truth! Amen brother!

      • Maykol says:

        But mexicos a much better than Egypt. In the first round Egypt was beating trash teams, the only decent competition was guinea. That’s why their record looked so good

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        It is easy to get worked up about the process, and CONCACAF might have too many spots, but after watching Mexico throttle NZ, maybe CONCACAF is a little better than people think ( and FIFA rankings )

        Don’t agree ? Fine I will crawl back in my hole and watch North/Central American soccer get better by the second.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Well, it’s hard to make the qualitative judgment about where region is better.

          I just want to examine the record: Egypt won 7 out of 8 games and DIDN’T QUALIFY. That seems absolutely shunning to me. Mexico tied most of their games, lost two (or was it three) and won only one (if memory serves; please feel free to correct those numbers).

          I bet even the giants of South America and Europe would have trouble with having to win so many games.

          Those are the points I was trying to make.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Well, it’s hard to make the qualitative judgment about where region is better.

          I just want to examine the record: Egypt won 7 out of 8 games and DIDN’T QUALIFY. That seems absolutely shocking to me. Mexico tied most of their games, lost two (or was it three) and won only one (if memory serves; please feel free to correct those numbers).

          I bet even the giants of South America and Europe would have trouble with having to win so many games.

          Those are the points I was trying to make.

      • Alex B says:

        Mexico played 16 qualifying games, won 8, tied 5 and lost 3, beat Costa Rica twice, one lost, one tie, Costa Rica finish second, I think you just hate everything about the Mexican team, Mexico deserve to be in the World Cup, if they beat NZ of course.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Those numbers are not the ones I am looking for. I wanted the ones from the Hex only.

          I am pretty sure Mexico only won two in the actual Hex, lost two and tied the rest.

        • usaalltheway says:

          link to mlssoccer.com

          He it is; they won TWO GAMES, lost three games and drew five.

          Mexico is garage. I love the country and it’s people but it’s national team and it’s supporters can eat cold, hard facts.

          The USA wond 7 games, lost two and tied one.

          Egypt won 7 and lost one.

          How in anyone’s right mind is Mexico deserving and Egypt is not??? Bias anyone??

        • Dante says:

          You’re a comedian huh?

      • Beto says:

        The only way to settle this is Egypt vs Mexico one game playoff —-Make it happen!!!

    • THomas says:

      They either need to adopt UEFA’s qualifying format where it’s just one big group stage then playoffs for the final spots.

      Or they need to adopt CONCACAF’s qualifying format where the better nations don’t participate until the later stages, allowing for a final round Hex that sifts out the best teams.

      CAF’s system is a joke, multiple stages with small groups that includes every nation, no matter how good or bad, in the early stages. That’s why they were 7-1 and missed out. The lost the one that truly matters in the worst way possible. It doesn’t allow you to recover from a bad performance like a final round Hex does.

  2. downintexas says:

    Great run Bob! Now onto bigger and brighter pastures.

  3. Chris says:

    Egypt was hard done by FIFA. 6 wins and the best record in round 2 of African qualifying and they’re rewarded with a home and away series with Ghana? Absolutely ridiculous.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Exactly.

      FIFA is such a joke.

      I am really sadden by all of this. I was so looking forward for BB and Egypt in the World Cup.

    • Travis says:

      Not sure how FIFA were involved in this at all, pretty sure each region manages how they do qualifying so they were hard done by CAF. Im not 100% on that but I always assumed that was the case since each region is done a bit differently

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Yeah, but FIFA is STILL a joke, no ?

        • Frank says:

          If it is a joke than, sadly, I don’t get it. Maybe if somebody bribed me…

        • Travis says:

          Absolutely but I didn’t want to blame them for this when it isn’t their fault. There are plenty of other things FIFA can be blamed for

        • midwest ref says:

          FIFA is a joke, but the CAF is worse. FIFA has now given Africa 5 slots (6 in 2010 when South Africa hosted). The complaint that appears to be raised is that CAF can’t figure out a way to get their top 5 to the world cup.

          How is that Mexico’s fault, and are you really saying that CONCACAF doesn’t deserve 3 places, plus the chance at a 4th?

          I posit that while the top 10 of Africa may be more equal than the top 6 of CONCACAF, the top of CONCACAF collectively, are better than the top of Africa.

          With the exception of Ghana in 2010, no African nation has gone as far as (or at least farther) the US and Mexico.

          I have no problem with the allocation of 5 teams to the CAF. I disagree with those who state that Mexico (assuming that they beat New Zealand) are not worthy of a WC bid.

          • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

            Ghana made it to the quarters in 2010
            Senegal made it to the quarters in 2002 (so did we)
            Nigeria made the round of 16 in 1994 and 1998 (our 98 team was terrible)
            Cameroon made the quarters in 1990

            I think African teams tend to underperform at the world cup, but I would think twice before saying our tops are better than theirs. Frankly, I wouldn’t bet on Costa Rica or Honduras against any CAF team. Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana are all very talented teams, and even Burkina Faso showed really well at the Africa Cup, beating some good teams.

            Umm…not so sure about CONCACAF over CAF.

            On a side note, S. Korea and Japan have consistently over performed their ranking in the last several world cups. Kind of the opposite of Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

    • Michael V says:

      CAF is not run too differently than UEFA with it’s playoff system. If Egypt would have done better in Round 1 they would have been in the situation they were in. Simple as that.

      • Michael V says:

        *would not* have been in the situation they were in.

        • Kelso says:

          Am I missing something? European teams that get 2nd in their group go to the playoff (first wualify directly). Only 1st place CAF teams go to a playoff…

      • midwest ref says:

        I think the CAF system is dramatically different than UEFA. UEFA has seeded draws to keep the big teams away from each other, for the most part. It then has a play-off, but only among its second place qualifiers.

        The CAF system is more difficult, as only group winners advance, and they all get into a playoff. Egypt was not a seeded team for the final knock-out even though they were undefeated in group play. Not much more Egypt could do to get a better draw.

  4. El Naranja says:

    So proud of Double B and Egypt! Despite unthinkable hurdles they managed to make it this far. They should hold their heads high, the lot of them. They’ve a bright future ahead of them for World Cup Russia.

    Hopefully Bo can finally get that European job with his impressive performances with Egypt. Or maybe send some of the out-of-work players Stateside. Or take them with him to Europe.

  5. chuck D says:

    Hopefully the Yanks will steer clear of any match up with the Black Stars in the WC. They obviously have our number.

    • Anthony says:

      Agreed! The scary part is that they look even better than they were 4 years ago.

    • James says:

      I understand everyone saying this, but honestly I don’t think the USMNT would be intimidated at all if they’re drawn together. The 2010 game was one that the US easily could have won. If that game is played 5 times, US takes at least 2. They’re a solid team for sure, but I think the US and Ghana are pretty well matched.

      • yankiboy says:

        I’m going to agree and disagree with you:
        Yes, our boys shouldn’t be intimidated.

        Disagree about not wanting to see Ghana in Brazil. They are a tough match up for us because of he two teams respective strengths and styles. And now, I wonder if even Klinsy can get the US psyche where it would need to be if the two paths cross.

  6. Chupacabra says:

    Once again, Ghana is Bradley’s Kryptonite. Damn you Ghana!

  7. BrianK says:

    Well,….Bob Bradley had to deal with extremely unusual circumstances in Egypt and he carried himself with class. A bit of bad luck drawing Ghana in the play-off too!

    Nevertheless,…his teams failed to qualify for African Cup of Nations and the World Cup.

  8. TomM says:

    This story deserved a better ending.

  9. Bett- Son of Stephen says:

    It is just crazy to think that Mexico with their terrible qualifying record are going to the world cup (unless Aotearoa (real name of NZ) pulls off a miracle) and Egypt isn’t going to make it when they only lost once. Its so tragic, an American leading Egypt to the World Cup was going to be one of the great stories of the tournament. So much for all of those documentaries that were being made.

    • Anthony says:

      I agree neither Mexico or NZ should really be there. I have generally thought 3.5 slots for CONCACAF was too much. 3 is fine until the standard of play drastically increases. However, at the same time, I see the logic. Are those borderline teams that get left out really going to challenge for the World Cup? So would it not be better to get the teams that are probably a top 50 team from a different region and would add more broad-based excitement and interest? Not to mention, spark development of soccer locally? One could argue that the USA 90/94 teams did not belong there at all, but look what it did for the development of the game.

      • midwest ref says:

        The current problem with qualification is the inumber of poor teams in Asia. Asia gets 4.5 bids based on purely the number of nations in the federation.

        When was the last time an Asian national team won an intercontinental playoff?

    • Maykol says:

      If Mexico qualifies, then they deserve to be there.

      • midwest ref says:

        Yep – it is like rooting for Ohio State or Michigan as a Hoosier fan in the NCAA basketball tournament

  10. Coke says:

    I don’t think Egypt would qualify in CONCACAF. BB aside the players are just terrible.

    • James says:

      I’m curious, how many of their players are you familiar with?

    • Anthony says:

      You clearly have not watched a couple of their games. I agree in the Ghana game, the looked poor. However, in 2 other games that I saw, I thought they looked strong to qualify through CONCACAF

  11. Rory says:

    I’m glad they got a win in their final match.

    One word: Canada. Dear God do they ever need a man like Bradley to come in and clean that mess up. Yeah, I know we all think he deserves a major European job but you’re dreaming if you thing club owners are going to hire an American coach over all the club legends and retreads that always get the jobs.

  12. roundhead says:

    It would be nice to have some friendlies with these African teams. they always seem to beat us at the WC in the last few tries. I suppose it is just logistically difficult to arrange a friendly there, I don’t know but it seems like playing them more frequently may help us in the WC

  13. AC says:

    Crazy how just one loss did them in. Africa needs to change their qualifying format. But on the small bright side. a Bradley team FINALLY beat Ghana, even if they didn’t advance after.

  14. yea mon says:

    It’s amazing that CAF chooses to determine all it’s spots by playoff. You risk having you best clubs sitting at home which happened in 2006 when they had no-hopers like Angola & Togo at the big show.
    UEFA’s playoffs are really just a back door entry for the bigger nations that didn’t win their group

    • BB says:

      Except that in 2006 it was just group winners who progressed. This is actually the first time they do these playoffs.

  15. BB says:

    And why all this nonsense talk of teams not being worthy making it through. Nigeria (2013 African Cup Winners), Ivory Coast (talent galore, although waning), Ghana (possibly the best African team), Cameroon (traditional power, still have etoo and song), and Algeria( talented roster with several european based players, not to mention beat Egypt last qualification round). Egypt missed the cut. Too bad. No need to move mountains for them to make it. Talk about overreaction ( I get the bob bradley storyline, but ultimately its about the best soccer teams)

  16. bgnewf says:

    Toronto FC is not outside the realm of possibility. Leiweke might decide to make a coachnig splash along with the planned DP spashes.

  17. Beto says:

    Bob victory over Ghana!

  18. Chris says:

    Bob Bradley as the manager of NYC FC makes too much sense… then they sign Michael to a DP deal in a few years too.

  19. DC Josh says:

    Time to replace those two-leg playoffs with a better system. CONCACAF gets it done with the large amount of nations that have to compete. CAF can get it done too. UEFA should get redo their system as well.