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Egypt stunned by DR Congo as goalkeeper nets winning penalty in shoot-out

After a 1-1 draw following extra-time, Egypt suffered an 8-7 loss on penalties

Pa Sport Staff
Monday 29 January 2024 07:13 GMT
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(REUTERS)

Egypt suffered more Africa Cup of Nations shoot-out heartache as goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi scored the winning penalty to send DR Congo through to the quarter-finals.

All four of the Pharaohs’ knockout games in the 2021 tournament required additional time, culminating in a spot-kick defeat to Senegal in the final.

And, after a 1-1 draw following extra-time, they went the same way in San Pedro with an 8-7 loss on penalties.

Mostafa Mohamed continued to step up in the absence of the injured Mohamed Salah with his fourth goal in as many matches from the spot, cancelling out Meschack Elia’s opener, with Egypt hanging on in extra time following Mohamed Hamdy’s 97th-minute red card.

Mohamed missed from 12 yards the second time around and keeper Mohamed Abou Gabal also fluffed his lines, leaving opposite number Mpasi to hold his nerve and set up a last-eight clash with Guinea.

Elia was a threat from the off and wasted a promising opportunity inside two minutes, racing behind Egypt’s high defensive line before firing over.

Egypt soon settled and former West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi should have done better when heading over Marwan Attia’s cross unmarked from six yards in the eighth minute.

Rui Vitoria’s side dominated possession without creating any more chances and they were punished in the 37th minute.

The warning signs were there as Theo Bongonda failed to keep a shot down from 15 yards and an excellent sliding challenge from Hamdi Fathi prevented Elia from firing at goal after Brentford striker Yoane Wissa picked out the Young Boys forward with a fine pass.

Elia would not be denied soon after, heading in on the goal line after Wissa’s cross was deflected beyond Abou Gabal as Egypt switched off from former West Ham left-back Arthur Masuaku’s throw-in.

But the Leopards were only ahead for eight minutes as VAR intervened to award a penalty for Dylan Batubinsika’s elbow on Hegazi, with Mohamed firing the spot-kick into the top corner.

Elia almost turned provider seven minutes after half-time, finding space on the right and providing a cross that Cedric Bakambu stabbed into the side-netting.

DR Congo defender Chancel Mbemba headed over from a corner before Egypt finally found their spark again with Ahmed Sayed Zizo and Attia forcing Mpasi into saves.

They looked more likely to find a winner, but could not create anything of note late on and were then put on the backfoot by Hamdy’s sending-off for two yellow cards, the second for a lunging tackle.

Masuaku blazed a free-kick over the bar and Samuel Moutoussamy fired wide from distance ahead of a dramatic shoot-out that ended with both goalkeepers stepping up.

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