Egypt Reach Quarterfinals After Penalty Victory Over Ivory Coast
Egypt overcame Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties to book their place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
The Round of 16 encounter had ended in a goalless draw at the Stade de Japoma in the Cameroonian city of Yaoundé.
The opening exchanges proved to be a cagey affair, with both sides not shy of putting in a tackle, most notably Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny.
The Pharaohs showed more attacking intent in the first half and produced the first effort on target in the 23th minute, as Mohamed Salah’s corner was cleared.
The Egyptians were presented with another chance minutes later, as Omar Camal collected a pass from Salah before firing horribly wide from close range.
Cote d’Ivoire were quite content to sit back and let Egypt have the ball but they almost went ahead in the 39th minute, as Ibrahim Sangare’s powerful effort from distance was palmed away by Mohamed El Shenawy.
Sebastien Haller had looked like Cote d’Ivoire’s biggest threat in the opening 45 minutes, shifting from flank to flank and kept things ticking in the final third.
The opening 20 minutes of the second half continued in the same fashion as the first stanza, although it was the Elephants who were restricted to numerous long range efforts.
Neither side could break the deadlock in the closing stages of regulation time, as both nations struggled to create any openings and the game went in to extra time.
It was more of the same in extra time, and despite the Pharaohs dominating the match, the score remained goalless after 120 minutes of play.
But it was the Pharaohs who held their nerve in the penalty shootout, as Mohamed Salah scored the winning penalty to send the record African champions to the last eight.
Here’s how they lined up:
Cote d’Ivoire: Ali Sangare – Ghislan Konan, Simon Desire Deli, Eric Baily, Sergi Aurier – Franck Kessie, Jean Michael Seri, Ibrahim Sangare – Max Gradel, Nicolas Pepe, Sebastien Haller
Egypt: Mohamed El-Shennawi – Omar Kamal, Mohamed Abdel Moneim, Ahmed Hegazi, Ahmed Fatouh – Amr El-Sulaya, Hamdi Fathi, Mohamed Elneny, Omar Marmoush, Mohamed Salah – Mostafa Mohamed