The African Cup of Nations, the continent’s biggest football showpiece, is underway in Egypt. It kicked off on June 21 after a spectacular opening ceremony. The hosts, Egypt, went on to beat Zimbabwe by a lone goal in the first game of the tournament.
Matches continue to play across the six groups and now Nigeria and Egypt are through to the Last 16 of this year’s Afcon finals while Congo DR are on the brink of elimination. Recently, the Pharaohs beat Congo DR 2-0 to seal their passage to the knockout stages. Ibenge’s charges are on the brink of becoming the first team to crash out from the competition after losing two consecutive games.
Mohamed Salah scored his first goal of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations to help hosts Egypt to a 2-0 win which guaranteed them a place in the knockout stages.
A most brilliant player, the Egyptian King and recent Champions League winner found the back of the net yet again and who has ever doubted it. The consecutive winner of the Golden Boot finished clinically from Trezeguet’s pass to send the packed Cairo International Stadium wild with delight.
The hosts march into the last 16 – as group winners if they can avoid defeat to Uganda in their third match. They did not sparkle here – except when scoring their second goal, created by a great run by Trezeguet and finished beautifully by Salah, who has been praised by many former professional footballers such as Danny Murphy: ” His movement and his pace mean he will always score goals no matter where he is across that front line…He’s playing the best football of his career.”
But they were efficient when it mattered and were helped by a bit of luck, particularly when DR Congo struck the bar twice in the first half and spent most of the second on the attack in the Egyptian half.
“I want to congratulate our opponents, who played a good match, they played very well, created chances, I think in the second half they were better than us,” said Egypt coach Javier Aguirre.
DRC are thus on the brink of elimination and if they do not triumph over Zimbabwe on the 30th of June, it’ll be time for them to say goodbye to AFCON 2019.