Home Sports Football AFCON 2023: Salah’s late penalty earn Egypt draw with Mozambique, Cape Verde beat Ghana

AFCON 2023: Salah’s late penalty earn Egypt draw with Mozambique, Cape Verde beat Ghana

6 min read

Mohamed Salah scored a stoppage-time penalty to help Egypt salvage a 2-2 draw with Mozambique in their opening Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match on Sunday.

The seven-time champions took an early lead through Mostafa Mohamed, only for Mozambique to turn the game on its head with two goals in four second-half minutes through Witi and Clesio.

Mozambique’s hopes of an historic win were crushed seven minutes into added time when Salah converted from the spot after a VAR check ruled there had been a foul on Mohamed in the 18-yard box.

Egypt and Mozambique now have a point each. The two other teams in Group B – Ghana and Cape Verde – will play later this Sunday night by 9 pm.

Egypt’s next match will be against Ghana on Thursday and thereafter against Cape Verde on Monday, 22 January.

Mozambique, on the other hand, will play against Cape Verde on Thursday and against Ghana on 22 January.

Meanwhile, Substitute Garry Rodrigues pounced in injury time to give Cape Verde a shock 2-1 win over four-time former champions, Ghana, in their opening game at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

The Black Stars looked set to come away with a draw after Alexander Djiku headed home to cancel out a Jamiro Monteiro goal for Cape Verde at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Majeed Ashimeru was also denied a goal for Ghana following a lengthy VAR check, but Cape Verde grabbed three points in the Group B match as Rodrigues found the net at the death.

It was a fine victory for the island nation, who reached the knockout stage at the last AFCON and put them top of the section after group rivals Egypt and Mozambique drew 2-2 earlier.

The evening was also notable for the second-half appearance as a substitute of Andre Ayew, with the 34-year-old becoming only the third player to feature in eight editions of the competition.

He now shares the record with Rigobert Song, currently the coach of Cameroon, and Egyptian Ahmed Hassan.

Yet of far greater concern to Ghanaians is the result for a country whose tally of AFCON victories is bettered only by Egypt and Cameroon.
Their last title came in 1982 and they went out of the last edition two years ago in the group stage.

Their prospects in this game were not helped by the fact that Mohammed Kudus, enjoying a fine season at West Ham United in the English Premier League, was missing from the line-up and not even on the bench.

Cape Verde went ahead in the 17th minute when Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori turned out a shot by Jovane Cabral and Monteiro, who has spent much of his career in MLS, followed in to score.

Ghana, with significant backing among the crowd of just under 12,000, thought they had equalised in the 36th minute.

Ashimeru of Anderlecht, rifled a shot from outside the area low into the corner, just after an Antoine Semenyo cross was cleared by goalkeeper Vozinha and ricocheted back onto the woodwork off Ghana forward Ransford-Yeboah Koenigsdoerffer.

Yet the goal was ruled out following a long VAR check, with the referee ruling that Koenigsdoerffer was blocking the goalkeeper’s line of sight as he came back from an offside position.

Djiku headed in Jordan Ayew’s delivery to make it 1-1 on 56 minutes, and Ghana then sent on Ayew as well as Ernest Nuamah and Inaki Williams as they hoped to find a winner.

Yet their defence appeared susceptible and the goal that won it for Cape Verde was a horror show for the Ghanaians, as Ofori failed to deal with a low ball into the box and Rodrigues converted to spark wild celebrations.

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