Ivory Coast 0-0 Egypt (4-5 on penalties): Mo Salah scores the winning spot-kick that sent the Pharaohs into the last eight of AFCON 2021 after Manchester United defender Eric Bailly’s missed for the Ivorians.
In-depth Match report as Egypt progress to the quarter-finals of AFCON 2021 to face fellow Northern Africa Morocco, after defeating Ivory Coast on penalty shoot-out as Eric Bailly’s miss proves decisive after goalless draw; Mo Salah scores winning penalty.
Wednesday,26th, January 2022 7.40 pm
Egypt marched into the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on penalties, sending Ivory Coast crashing out of the tournament, whilst securing their third consecutive victory heading into the quarter-finals.
Reds forward Mo Salah spot-kick seals Egypt progression after Red Devils defender Eric Bailly provided the only miss of the penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw 90 minutes – his tame penalty kept out by goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal, who had replaced Mohammed El Shenawy in the final minutes of normal time.
The keenly anticipated last-16 clash between two past AFCON winners kicked off in an electrifying manner after a minute of silence was held to pay homage to the lives lost at the Olembé Stadium stampede a few days ago.
In the third minute, Franck Kessié sent a low shot from 20 yards wide of the post, putting the Ivorians on the back foot. The ‘Pharaohs,’ on the other hand, rocked the crossbar in the 16th minute with Omar Marmoush’s audacious long-range effort as the 45th-ranked FIFA ranked nation tried to gain a footing in the match.
Mo Salah tried to add to Egypt’s two goals at the tournament with a volley from the edge of the box after some excellent build-up play, but Badra Ali Sangaré brilliantly turned his effort over the bar.
Before halftime, Ivory Coast believed they had taken the lead when Ibrahim Sangaré attempted a fantastic volley inside the area, but the ball was shot straight at the goalkeeper, who palmed it away.
After halftime, the game was evenly poised as both teams had dominant periods with the ball, but neither could find the key breakthrough that would put them ahead.
As the game progressed, it became clear that stealing the victory would require something truly extraordinary. It took until the 70th minute for Sébastien Haller to test the goalkeeper in the second half, as he headed towards goal from a set-piece, forcing a stunning save from Mohamed El Shenawy.
‘Les Éléphants’ were in command in the final 10 minutes, with Wilfried Zaha putting El Shenawy to the test before the goalkeeper was forced to leave due to injury as the game headed to extra time.
Despite the extra 30 minutes, neither team was able to find a solution to secure a place in the quarter-finals. It came down to penalties in the end, with Eric Bailly missing a key spot-kick, allowing Mo Salah to seal the victory. Egypt wins the penalty shootout 5-4 to move to the quarter-finals, where they will meet Morocco on Sunday in Yaoundé.
AFCON 2021 QUARTER-FINAL FIXTURES
Saturday, January 29
Quarter-final 1: Cameroon vs Gambia, 4 pm (Japoma Stadium, Douala)
Quarter-final 2: Burkina Faso vs Tunisia, 7 pm (Roumde Adjia Stadium, Garoua)
Sunday, January 30
Quarter-final 3: Egypt vs Morocco, 4 pm (Olembe Stadium, Yaounde)
Quarter-final 4: Senegal vs Round-of-16 game 8 winner, 7 pm (Japoma Stadium)
The event, which was previously slated for June and July 2021, instead took place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
Twenty-four teams will compete, with the first match taking place on January 9 in Yaounde between hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso, and the final taking place on February 6 in the city.