Mohammed Abou-Gabal is Egypt’s number two shot stopper who started between the sticks when Egypt came from behind to beat Morocco 2-1 in the quarter finals match in Yaounde on Saturday, thanks to goals from Mohammed Salah and Mahmoud Hassan Trezeguet. First choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy was not available after suffering a hamstring strain.
Abou-Gabi who stood in for El-Shennawy was not tested much but was able to make some vital saves the few occasions the Moroccans fired at the post. In one of those saves in the second half, when scores still stood at 1-1, the Zamalek goalkeeper miraculously kept out a dangerous header by Nayef Agurad before it was cleared away.
After the save, Abou-Gabal fell twice but refused to be changed. Eventually, he could not end the match as coach Queiroz pulled him out for youth international Mohamed Sobhi. This was a big scare to the Egyptian bench.
However, as the Pharaohs prepare for their semi final clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in Yaounde tomorrow, Abou-Gabal has declared that he will be available for the mouth-watering encounter.
“I only had a minor muscle cramp and I am ready to play, God willing, in the semi finals on Thursday against Cameroon,” he said.
The shot stopper believes their unity, organisation and winning spirit that have taken them thus far will see them through the host team in their clash tomorrow.
The match which has been described as final before final comes up at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.