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Africa Cup of Nations: Salah watches Egypt scrape into last 16 with draw against Cape Verde

Africa Cup of Nations: Salah watches Egypt scrape into last 16 with draw against Cape Verde
23 Jan 2024 11:11

LONDON (DPA)


Mohamed Salah was in the stands to watch Egypt scrape into the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations with a
breathless 2-2 draw with Cape Verde.

The striker stayed on to watch his countrymen in their crucial final Group B match before flying back to Liverpool for treatment on a muscle injury.

He will have feared the worst with the Pharaohs staring at an early exit after falling behind to a goal from Gilson Tavares for the surprise group winners. 

But substitute Trezeguet hauled them level and Mostafa Mohamed fired them ahead at the start of stoppage time.

The Blue Sharks then rocked Egypt by equalising through Bryan Teixeira, but Ghana being pegged back 2-2 by Mozambique meant the Pharaohs clung on to second place.

With Cape Verde having already topped the group, Egypt were hoping they might not play with the same intensity that brought them two wins out of two.

Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha saved from Mohamed and Omar Marmoush while Zizo fired narrowly wide. But in first-half stoppage time and with Cape Verde's first real opportunity, the surprise package took the lead.

Ryan Mendes headed the ball into the path of Tavares, who turned sharply before crashing his shot low into the net. Trezeguet should have equalised moments after coming on as a half-time substitute but he blazed his shot over the crossbar.  But the Trabzonspor midfielder made his mark three minutes later when he played a brilliant one-two with Ahmed Hegazy before lashing an angled shot past Vozinha.

Trezeguet almost immediately put Egypt ahead but drilled his shot across Vozinha and wide. Mohamed had a golden chance from Trezeguet's cross but agonisingly lifted his effort over the top. 

But two minutes into stoppage time Mohamed chased on to a ball over the top and lifted it over Vozinha.  A dramatic victory seemed to have been secured but there was still time for Teixeira to fire an equaliser in the ninth minute of added time, although somehow Egypt could still celebrate qualification in the most nail-biting circumstances.

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