Afcon 2017: Egypt Cage the Atlas Lions to Reach Semis

Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz controls the ball while averting a challenge from Gabr Mossad as Ahmad Fathi watches on.

Another last minute goal sealed a semifinal spot for Egypt’s Pharaohs as they edged out Morocco 1-0 in a tight North African encounter in Port-Gentil on Sunday.

The Pharaohs are returning to the continental stage after missing the previous three editions in 2012, website like this 2013 and 2015 due to political instability that nearly tore the country apart.

Egypt made the first attempt on goal as early as the fifth minute through El Mohamady whose shot was blocked inside the six yards from Salah’s earlier effort.

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Salah created another chance with a tricky cross that eluded the whole Morocco defense to find Hassan but his first time delivery was cleared off the line by the keeper.

Romain Saiss also wasted a chance for the Moroccans after the half four failing to tap in Da Costa’s cross which found him unmarked inside six.

Salah continued his brilliance in the second half. After three minutes, this he was able to navigate past three defenders but stabbed the ball onto the keeper in a one on one.

The Roma attacker missed another close one in the 76th. El Said chipped a cheeky free kick for Salah to volley in but the keeper miraculously pulled a stunning save from inside four yards.

Substitute Mahmoud Kahraba turned the saviour for the seven time champions with a late 88th minute winner. Kahraba came in the 63rd minute for Karim Hafez.

Salah had drilled in a low corner for Kahraba to brush. His initial attempt skewed but hit on Hassan and Kahraba volleyed in on the bounce before Benatia could clear off.

Egypt will face Burkina Faso in the first semifinal on Wednesday.

Egypt: Essam El Hadary, Ali Gabr, Ahmed El Mohamady, Ahmed Hegazy ), Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed (90′ Saad Samir), Mohamed Salah, Karim Hafez (63′ Mahmoud Kahraba), Marwan Mohsen (63′ Ahmed Hassan Koka), Abdalla El Said, Trezeguet

Morocco: Munir, Hamza Mendyl, Manuel da Costa, Medhi Benatia, Romain Saiss (90′ Rachid Alioui), Youssef En-Nesyri, Karim El Ahmadi, Faycal Fajr, Mbark Boussoufa, Nabil Dirar, Aziz Bouhaddouz (78′ Omar El Kaddouri)


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