AFCON 2023: High drama as Cape Verde, Egypt progress to Knockout Round

...as Ghana, Mozambique share points in tense encounter

Cape Verde and Egypt secured their places in the Round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023, on Monday evening after playing out to a drama-filled 2-2 draw at the Stade Felix-Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

A dramatic equalizer by Bryan Teixeira in the dying minutes of stoppage time levelled what looked to be a hard-fought victory for the Pharaohs.

After initially taking the lead in the 45th minute, the Blue Sharks were in the driving seat of what could have been an historic full haul of points in Group B.

However, the score was levelled five minutes into the second half after Mahmoud Trezeguet showed composure in the box to execute a tidy finish.

With the match set to end with a goal apiece, the in-form Mostafa Mohamed artistically chested down a difficult ball to lob it over the oncoming keeper with a goal that sent the Egyptian supporters into a frenzy.

As the record AFCON champions prepared to wrap up the victory, Bryan Teixeira spoilt the celebrations after capitalizing on a defensive error to fire the ball into the back of the net and salvage a point for the Blue Sharks who finish top of Group B, followed by the Egyptians as they both seal a place in the next round.

After the match, Egypt’s coach, Rui Vitoria, said, “We just saw a great game tonight. From the actions on both sides, the spectators got their money’s worth. We have qualified and that is a good thing. Now we will have to concentrate on erasing our shortcomings and work hard in preparation for the next round.”

Similarly, Ghana’s Black Stars could not shine bright enough as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Mozambique in a tension-soaked encounter.

The Black Stars squandered a two-goal lead after Jordan Ayew had put the Ghanaians ahead from two penalties in the 15th and 70th minute. The Mozambicans scored twice after the 90th minute mark (stoppage time) to salvage a point. Geny Catamo pulled one back from the penalty spot on 91 minutes before Reinildo Mandava’s header in the 94th minute broke Ghanaaian hearts.

Ghana midfielder Mohammed Kudus expressed his disappointment despite being named man of the match in Monday’s dramatic 2-2 AFCON draw with Mozambique.

“We really wanted this victory, but it wasn’t to be. It’s a big disappointment for us. We lost the game by losing concentration in the last minutes, like against Egypt too. We showed lots of qualities here but losing focus at the end cost us,” Kudus told reporters.

Ghana finished third in Group B with two points (same with Mozambique) and may be on the brink of an early AFCON exit. But it is still mathematically possible for Chris Hughton’s side to qualify for the knockout stages if some results in other groups go their way.


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