Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal missed his penalty in the shootout as the Democratic Republic of Congo claimed an epic 8-7 victory following a tense 1-1 draw in their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash in San Pedro on Sunday. As a result, Mohamed Salah will remain with Liverpool and not have to return to Ivory Coast as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury
Abou Gabal clipped the crossbar with his effort and then his opposite number Lionel Mpasi scored against him as the record seven-times winners Egypt bowed out at the Laurent Pokou Stadium, sparking jubilant scenes for DRC, who now play Guinea in the quarter-finals in Abidjan on Friday.
Meschack Elia gave DRC the lead when he headed in virtually on the goalline, but the advantage lasted nine minutes before Mostafa Mohamed scored his fourth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.
The Egypt midfielder Mohamed Hamdy received a red card in extra time, after which the Pharaohs, without injured talisman Salah, stopped attacking and held on as the game went to a shootout.
Mohamed Bayo scored a last-gasp winner to send Guinea into the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over 10-man Equatorial Guinea. A poor-quality game looked destined for extra time in Abidjan when Bayo headed home from Ibrahim Diakité’s cross with just 22 seconds remaining in the last of eight minutes of stoppage time.
The majority of that time had come from a lengthy VAR check which eventually saw Equatorial Guinea awarded a penalty for a foul by Sekou Sylla on Iban Salvador, only for the captain, Emilio Nsue, to hit the base of a post with his spot-kick.
An early shot narrowly wide from Bayo was the only attempt on goal worthy of mention in an otherwise turgid first half, but the game sprang to life in the second period.
Nsue failed to make the most of a fortunate ricochet just two minutes after the interval as he volleyed wastefully over the bar from 10 yards, while Guinea briefly thought they had broken the deadlock when Mory Konaté headed home from a free-kick in the 53rd minute but he was offside.
Guinea were handed a man advantage just two minutes later when Federico Bikoro was shown a red card for a high-footed challenge which delivered a painful blow to Bayo’s ribs.
Equatorial Guinea should have taken the lead from the penalty spot after Sylla’s foul on Salvador was eventually confirmed following a VAR check. Nsue, after sending Ibrahim Koné the wrong way, could only look on in despair as his shot hit a post.
The deadlock was finally broken in dramatic fashion with Bayo in the perfect place to head a deserved winner. “It was a very satisfying victory. We had a lot of criticism after our group games but my players got due reward for all of their work,” said the Guinea coach, Kaba Diawara.