The dream of the Egyptian team of making it to the quarterfinal stage of the 2018 ITTF Team World Cup was ended on Friday February 23 as host – England beat the Africa’s representative 3-1 in the final Group B match of the championship.

Having lost their first group matches to Japan on Thursday February 22, England and Egypt were determined to join the Japanese in the quarterfinal.

After an injury ruled out Egypt’s star player, Omar Assar, the hope of leading the Egyptian team were rested on veterans – El-Sayed Lashin and Ahmed Saleh.

Lashin and Saleh who were former African doubles champion combined to face England’s duo of Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker but it was the Englishmen that carried the day to give the host team a 1-0 lead.

Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali wanted to restore parity for the African representative, But an informed Liam Pitchford curtailed El-Beiali 3-0 to give England a 2-0 lead.

Being the oldest player in the competition, Ahmed Saleh played his best against Drinkhall and his best paid off for him as he defeated the Englishman 3-2 to restore hope for Egypt.

In the fourth game, it was the turn of the big stage man – Sam Walker who made nonsense of El-Beiali to win at 3-1 to give England an overall 3-1 and a place in the quarterfinal.

Like their male counterpart, Egyptian ladies suffered same defeat in the hand of USA despite spirited efforts from Dina Meshref. The team had lost its first group match to Japan to exit the competition in the first round.

A satisfied Lashin told Nationsport that they gave their but their best was not enough against the Japanese and the English teams.

“I think generally we are satisfied with our performance in this tournament because everybody in the team gave their best. In the match against England, we would have done better if Omar Assar had played. But he had rest his injury in readiness for next week’s ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Kenya. So we missed him in the team because it would have been a different story entirely if Omar Assar had played in the match and we have had the chance to win and qualify to the quarterfinal stage. Also I must commend the good performance of the team captain, Ahmed Saleh who played very well against Paul Drinkhall and I believe this will improve his ranking. We had a good chance against England because we were under any pressure in the encounter. Overall, I believe we played good but not so high,” Lashin said.

For Dina Meshref, the team gave a good of themselves. “After we lost to Japan in the first group match, we were determined to win against United States and we had the chance to do that. Unfortunately we lost to miss out from advancing to the next round. I must also conclude that we did our best in the tournament and we are satisfied with our performance.

“Generally, I think we need to work hard on the doubles both in men and women events and we must also practice more in the doubles by getting our tactics right. From have realized that doubles event is very key to the team and we will go back and start working on this event in order to help in major competition like this. I played my best against the best players particularly the Japanese because I knew that I had nothing to lose and I was not under any pressure,” she added.