Egypt have qualified to the quarter finals of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 following a 5-4 penalties shootouts victory over Cote d’Ivoire.
The record champions kept their cool in the nerve-racking penalties to beat Cote d’Ivoire with substitute goalkeeper Mohamed Daader saving Eric Bailly’s spot kick.
The Elephants started brightly at the Japoma Stadium with their midfield three of Franck Kessie, Jean Michael Seri and Ibrahim Sangare controlling their play.
Franck Yannick Kessie had the first effort of the much talked about match when his long-range effort from distance agonizingly missed El Shenawy’s goal.
The Pharaohs weathered the early Elephants storm and they were denied by the woodwork, when Omar Khalid Marmoush’s curled effort smashed the frame of Badra Ali Sangare’s goal with 16 minutes on the clock.
Badra Ali tipped over Mohamed Salah’s dipping strike for a corner, the Egyptian captain had turned away from his marker before firing at Sangare.
With an electric atmosphere inside the stadium the two teams cancelled each other in midfield while they continue to create openings.
Cote d’Ivoire played on the wide areas with Nicolas Pepe and veteran Max Alain Gradel providing an outlet. The Arsenal winger latched on to a long ball over the top cutting in infield to strike straight at the impressive El Shenawy.
The 2015 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations champions were forced to make an early substitution when Kessie pulled out on the half hour mark.
Elephants’ goalkeeper Badra Ali went down low to his left to turn away Mohamed Mostafa’s first time strike before tipping over Salah’s half volley.
The Ivorians responded 8 minutes before halftime with Sangare from the back post. The midfielder’s acrobatic volley was forced an instinctive save from El Shenawy.
El Shenawy kept the score goalless with another brilliant save on the stroke of halftime, the Al Ahly keeper stooped Sebastien Haller’s goal bound effort.
The second half was a more open contest as the two African giants battle for a place in the quarter finals of the tournament.
*Credit: CAF media