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AFCON 2023: DR Congo 1-1 Egypt (8-7 Pen)

Egypt suffered a painful exit from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) via shoot-out 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.

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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.

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