Group B of the Africa Cup of Nations provided another crazy day as Mozambique stunned Ghana by scoring two late goals to draw 2-2 at Allasane Outtara Stadium on Monday.
Also in the other game, Egypt thought they had scored a late goal to beat Cape Verde 2-1 when Mostafa Mohamed netted in the 93rd minute.
But Alberto Silva was given time and space in the box to hammer past Mohamed Elshanawy in the 99th minute, with Egyptian players thinking they were knocked out.
However, after having seen Ghana draw with Mozambique, their 2-2 was enough for the Pharaoes to finish second with three points.
Ghana, who were third in Group B before the game and all four nations playing simultaneously, were 2-0 up against Mozambique with Jordan Ayew scoring two penalties in either half. But they conceded two late goals to finish third on two points.
The Black Stars was cruising as Crystal Palace forward slotted past Ivane Francisco after Joseph Pantsil was brought down. He then netted the second when there was handball in the second half when Mohamed Kudus’s shot was handled inside the box Renildo later in the game.
But Mozambique got a late penalty when Andrew Ayew handled the ball inside the box of Geny Catano beating Orlando Pirates goalie Richard Ofori low in the 89th minute.
Having conceded the penalty, the Atletico Madrid left-back Renildo fired an equalizer in the last minute of added time. It was a repeat of AFCON 2021 for Ghana, who also crashed out in the group stages and the pressure will be mounting on coach Christ Houghton.
In the other game, Egypt had fallen behind against Cape Verde when Gilson Tavares fired Pedro Brito’s side ahead in the added time of the first half.
This after Cape Verde had run Egypt rugged in that stanza, even though they knew they were through to the knockout stages, but they played like their life depended on this game.
But Egypt, who are seven-time champions of this tournament, were always dangerous and papered the goals through Emam Ashour in the first half.
They found an equalizer through Trezeguet who fired them the equaliser in the second half, before Mostafa Mohamed scored the late goal which looked like the winner.
Egypt had suffered a huge blow as captain Mohamed Salah was ruled out for a month due to muscle injury, with his agent Ramy Abbas Issa saying on X that he would be out for 21-28 days.
It is why Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp said, if they go deeper in the tournament he will be allowed to leave, having requested to look after Salah’s hamstring he suffered against Ghana.
When Egypt was lining up on the tunnel, Salah appeared and high-fived the kids in the tunnel and sat in the stands, while he was seen widely celebrating at the end of the match. Salah will leave the Egyptian camp on Wednesday.
But Egypt, without their talisman, huffed and puffed in the first half, but they were punished when Tavares turned and fired home in referee’s added time in the first half.
Salah held his head in aghast as he was left in shock by his side being behind.
But Egypt kept on coming in the second half and Trezeguet, from the bench, fired an equalizer in the 50th minute to make it 1-1. They deservedly scored the second when the long punt ball appeared to be controlled in the hand by Mohamed before finishing it off to seal the knockout stages.
Mozambique, whose draw saw them finish at the bottom of the group against Ghana, are still searching for their first-ever win in the Africa Cup of Nations since they made their debut in the 1998 edition in Burkina Faso.
Egypt and Cape Verde joins Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Senegal in the round of 16, while Richard Ofori and Edmilson Dove were sent packing.