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Egypt survive shootout

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The hosts and top scorers met a dogged Egyptian side with a place in the final against Senegal up for grabs.

It was a pretty even start, with both sides happy to have control of the ball and not try anything too dangerous. The first real chance fell to Cameroon as Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui rattled the post with his header following a corner. The defender had another great chance but fluffed his shot as Egypt’s defence wobbled.


Cameroon were getting forward more often, winning free kicks in good areas but unable to do much with them. Meanwhile, Mo Salah was having a very quiet game which meant Egypt were struggling to create chances. So, it was no surprise that the game was goalless at halftime.


Egypt started brightly after the break and Salah had a glorious chance after 10 minutes. A suicidal back pass from Martin Hongla was intercepted by the forward who seemingly had a free run at goal. However, his first touch was poor and allowed the onrushing Andre Onana to get a foot to the ball and clear it away. The match remained a cagey affair, Karl Toko Ekambi testing Abougabal with a flicked header at the near post.


That was followed up by Samuel Gouet’s fierce strike from distance that just shaved the left hand post as the game entered the final 20 minutes. With the game destined for extra-time, Carlos Queiroz was sent off from touchline for excessive complaining and interfering too much. Surely enough, the fulltime whistle went and an additional 30 minutes was needed.


The first period passed by largely without incident, with both sides looking tired by the minute. The final 15 minutes of extra time saw some action, especially with Ramadan Sobhi’s cross that flashed across goal without anybody getting a touch. But the match went to penalties.


Cameroon were kicking first and missed their second attempt from Harold Moukodi with Abougabal saving. Egypt took the lead before The Indomitable Lions fluffed their lines again. The Pharaohs took a 3-1 lead meaning Clinto N’Jie had to score his for Cameroon to have any remaining chance. He sent his penalty well wide of the post as Egypt advanced to the final.


Here are the three key takeaways from the match:


Cameroon were the more threatening of the two sides, with Toko Ekambi’s pace causing problems. They went the closest too, striking the upright on two separate occasions. Aboubakar was largely anonymous but the defence more than held firm. Onana was the saviour in one of the most pivotal moments of normal time, his sweeping sense on high alert to block Salah’s threat when the Egyptian seemed to have had a free run. They tried and tried but to no avail and finally had to settle for penalties. A horror run of three consecutive missed meant the hosts were out.



Egypt had gotten a reputation of grinding out results so it was not expected to be a goalfest. Salah’s uncharacteristically poor first touch let him down on the biggest possible chance for The Pharaohs. Sobhi thought he had fashioned something deep into extra time but his cross found nobody.


Salah was kept largely quiet and last game’s match winner Trezeguet proving ineffective since his arrival at halftime. They scored all three of their spot kicks as the goalkeeper produced two huge saves to carry them through to the final.



Liverpool teammates going against each other in the final. Both of them will be looking to lead their respective nation to silverware in a blockbuster final. Though Senegal will be the happier of the two given the more amount of rest they will be getting in addition to Egypt being without their coach on the sidelines.

Ratul Ghosh
His name means Red and a fan of devilish food, which equals to his favourite team being Manchester United. Can be found sleeping or in front of the TV otherwise. Hates waking up early but loves staying up late for football.

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