Irish manager Jack Charlton could barely conceal his disappointment and anger after a match of sheer frustration in the scorching heat of Sicily yesterday.
His march towards World Cup glory was stymied by a defiant Egyptian side which played for a draw and seldom looked like losing out on its objective.
The goal-less stalemate intensifies the pressure on the Irish manager and the team, as Egypt had been regarded as presenting Ireland with its best chance of winning two points.
An obviously downcast Charlton described the game as "deplorable" but insisted Ireland still has everything to play for.
He slammed the stonewalling Egyptians. "I hate teams like that, I deplore them," he said.
"I've seen results that were amazing over the years but I've never before played a team that didn't create one chance in 90 minutes.
"The Dutch match will be a good game. At least they will come and have a go at us, and we'll come and have a go at them," he added.
It is now all down to Thursday's crunch encounter with Holland — an eventuality the Irish manager had hoped would not arise.
He must plan for at least a draw against the European champions. To achieve this there was speculation that he may make a few changes from yesterday's side.
Before yesterday's game up to 15,000 elated Irish fans brought song and dance to the Sicilian capital before filing into the stadium. About 2,000 fanatical Egyptian fans also feted their heroes.
Jack Charlton should have dispensed with the services of John Aldridge when selecting his team for today's crucial Group F game against Egypt in Palermo — if Ireland hoped to play the type of game required to survive in Italia '90.