CAN 2024 DR Congo defeats Egypt with courage and penalties

CAN 2024: DR Congo defeats Egypt with courage and penalties in the 8th game

At the end of the tension and an endless penalty shootout, DR Congo defeated Egypt in the round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (1-1 aet, 8-7) in San Pedro on Saturday. She will face Guinea in the quarterfinals.

Published on: 01/29/2024 – 12:06 am Modified on: 01/29/2024 – 12:36 am

4 mins

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Experience versus carefree. Egypt and its seven CAN titles, a model of consistency in competition, against DR Congo, a team in complete rebuilding but impressive in its physical strength.

This was the poster for this round of 16 of CAN 2024, Saturday January 28, at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro. An indecisive clash between two teams who had struggled to emerge from the groups after drawing three games each.

Read alsoThe program for the round of 16 of CAN 2024

Egypt did not present itself in its best light without its star striker Mohamed Salah, injured and cursed at the Africa Cup of Nations, and without its first-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, who was also out for the rest of the competition.

The Leopards therefore try to launch a quick attack from the start, but Elias' shot ends up top (3rd). The Pharaohs react and get their first chance of the game with a free kick, but Hegazy's header hits the crossbar (8th).

Elijah scores first

After the first quarter of an hour, the Democratic Republic of Congo decided to show its physical strength by increasing the number of incursions into the Egyptian area and free kicks. But the final gesture still lacks precision. Egypt held on and also relied on set pieces, such as Zizo's free kick, which allowed Mpasi to shine (36').

We have to find the solution to unlock the scoreboard and the Leopards achieve this through mischief. When the Egyptians turned to the referee to block a throw-in, Masuaku quickly played it and found Wissa heading towards goal alone. His cross is blocked, but Elia finishes with a diving header (37th, 1-0).

No time to enjoy for the Leopards, because during an Egyptian offensive the referee is alerted and consults the VAR: Batubinsika put his arm in Hegazy's face in an aerial duel. Penalty. Mostafa Mohamed coolly converted by catching Mpasi on the wrong foot (45th + 1, 1-1) and took the opportunity to get closer to the newly eliminated Equatorial Guinean Emilio Nsue on the scoresheet.

Endless game…

Presumably upset, the Leopards return determinedly from the dressing room, but Bakambu's attempt hits the post (53'). After an hour it was the Pharaohs who regained the upper hand, but Mpasi saved his team from Zizo (61') and then calmed down again in front of Attia (64').

The end of the game becomes more chaotic and the changes don't change anything. The players seem to be slowly but surely heading towards extra time. The Egyptians try to repeat the same move as in the first third, it doesn't work. Hamada fails to win back Zizo's cross (85'), and Mpasi confidently defends the last corner of regular time (90'+5).

…and unbearable tension

From the start of extra time, Hamdy received a card for a very late intervention on Banza (96th). It's the second round and Egypt has to finish the game outnumbered. The DR Congo then believed it had its chance and increased its offensives in the Egyptian camp. But the Pharaohs, for their part, play “on experience”: Gabalski remains on the ground for long minutes after a missed effort, Marmoush rolls after a manly but correct contact… everything is good to extend the game until the shots to the goal.

And in this little game it is DR Congo who emerge victorious after an interminable session in which nine shooters started. The Congolese Mpasi wins this duel at a distance from the goalkeepers when Gabaski sees his shot bounce off the crossbar. The Leopards courageously confirm their ticket to the quarter-finals, where they will face Guinea on Saturday.

Also read “Finding the Final Table”.

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