Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsDR Congo Dump Egypt Out Of AFCON On Penalties

DR Congo Dump Egypt Out Of AFCON On Penalties

DR Congo knocked Egypt out in the Round of 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after long-drawn penalties at Laurent Poku Stadium on Sunday night.  

Congo won 8-7 after goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi scored the 18th spot as the Leopards are in search of their first AFCON trophy in 50 years.  

The game had finished 1-1 in 120 minutes after extra-time, the first to go to the lottery in these AFCON finals in Ivory Coast.  

Egypt, who started penalties, saw their goalkeeper Abou Gabal miss the crucial spot kick, crashing the crossbar to see them knocked out in the Round of 16.   

The seven-time champions were playing with 10 men after Mohamed Hamdy was sent off in the first half of extra-time.  

Congo will now face Guinea, who beat Equatorial Guinea with a late goal earlier, in the quarter-finals on Friday. 

Egypt thought they would make three wins on the bounce in beating Congo as they did in the 2019 edition on home soil in the group stages.  

Egypt also recorded another victory in the 2006 edition which they also hosted the tournament, with Pharaohs claiming a 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals.  

Both sides were coming to this game seeking their first win in this competition in Ivory Coast, having each picked up three draws and finished as runners-up in their groups.  

Congo was the first to be presented with a chance to open the scoring in the early stages, but Young Boys striker Meschack Elia blasted his chance widely.    

Elia was never denied on the second occasion, nodding a header from close range from Yoane Wissa’s cross that took a huge deflection after 37 minutes.  

Egypt appealed to South African referee Abongile Tom that Arthur Masuaku was the one who knocked the ball out play, but the former West Ham left-back quickly took the throw instead to punish the Egyptians.  

- Advertisement -

Egypt themselves were given a penalty in the 44th minute when Dylan Batubinsika thought he went for the ball but flung his arm in the face of Ahmed Hegazi.  

Mustafa Mohamed slotted the spot kick for an equalizer to net his fourth goal in the tournament. 

The second half brought no goalmouth actions, and this match became the first in these finals to go to extra-time. 

Hamdy, brought on in the second half, was sent off in the 97th minute in extra-time following a tackle on Simon Banza. 

Tired legs and minds appeared evident in both teams and penalties looked like they would decide who would reach the quarter-finals. 

In the early stages of the second half of extra-time, Masuaku delivered a dangerous cross inside the box, but it eluded everyone, as the ball cried out for a touch to go in. That was it as the game went to penalties before Mpasi became the Congolese hero.  

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.