Egypt secure last-16 spot in thrilling draw with Cape Verde

Despite the absence of injured captain Mohamed Salah, Egypt secured a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16 with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Cape Verde on Monday.

ABIDJAN – Despite the absence of injured captain Mohamed Salah, Egypt secured a spot in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) last 16 with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Cape Verde on Monday.

Salah, who watched from the stands, is set to return to Liverpool for further treatment on his hamstring injury, raising doubts about his participation in the remaining tournament matches.

Cape Verde had already secured the top spot in Group B and looked set to continue their perfect run when Gilson Tavares Benchimol scored just before half-time.

However, Mahmoud Trezeguet’s equalizer and Mostafa Mohamed’s brilliant stoppage-time goal for Egypt, confirmed after a VAR check, secured a point.

Despite Bryan Teixeira’s late goal for Cape Verde, the Pharaohs clinched the second spot in the group.

“The important thing is the fact that we have qualified, we are through to the next round,” said Egypt coach Rui Vitoria.

“Now we are going to rest because it was very hot and humid. We will prepare, wait to see who our next opponents are, and move into a new phase of the competition.”

Egypt's forward Mostafa Mohamed (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Cape Verde and Egypt at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on 22 January 2024. [Picture: AFP]
FILE: Egypt’s forward #19 Mostafa Mohamed (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Cape Verde and Egypt at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on 22 January 2024. [Picture: AFP]

Salah, who suffered the hamstring injury in the previous game against Ghana, is set to miss the last-16 tie on Sunday.

The Egyptian Football Association initially stated he would return for the semi-finals if Egypt progresses, but Salah’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, cast doubt on that possibility, revealing a more extended recovery period.

“Mohamed’s injury is more serious than first thought, and he will be out for 21-28 days, and not two games,” wrote Issa on X.

Vitoria acknowledged the severity of Salah’s injury, stating, “Now this game is over we will find the best solution for the treatment of the player.”

The dramatic draw against Cape Verde secured Egypt’s place in the last 16, and they will head to San-Pedro for a crucial tie on Sunday.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding Salah’s participation, the Pharaohs remain determined to navigate the competition and potentially secure their eighth Africa Cup of Nations title.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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