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Egypt beat Ghana to reach quarter-finals as group winners


Photo by Aminah Babirye

reached the quarter finals as Group D winners after beating 1-0 in their final group stage game on Wednesday.

The Pharaohs were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after Abdallah El-Said was fouled by John Boye. Mohamed Salah stepped up and hammered the ball past the wall, sending it into the top corner to give Egypt the lead after 10 minutes.

After the goal, the Black Stars intensified pressure and started to dominate the midfield as they were seeking to level the score. Afful crossed the ball to Christian Atsu whose header went off target, before Gyan headed a corner over the bar.

Egypt, however, managed to keep their composure and maintain their 1-0 lead.

On the 40-hour mark, a poor clearance from Brimah Razak left the ball at Marwan Mohsen’s feet, providing him with a chance to double Egypt’s lead, but Mohsen’s shot went over the bar.

Four minutes to halftime, Ghana lost their forward Gyan to injury as he was replaced by Jordan Ayew.

Right after the substitution, Ghana were close to equalise, as a header by Daniel Amartey from a freekick went wide of the post.

Egypt responded immediately as Trezeguet played the ball for El-Said inside the box, who squared it to Elneny, but the latter’s low shot was blocked by the defense as the Pharaohs headed down the tunnel with a 1-0 lead at the interval.

The first chance after the break was a headed effort from Boye that went wide.

Ten minutes into the second half, Marwan Mohsen received the first booking of the game after a rough challenge against Boye.

Around the one-hour mark, Ali Gabr made a last-minute tackle inside the six-yard box to deny Jordan Ayew before shooting from close range. Three minutes later, Mensah blocked Elneny’s shot and it went out for a corner.

Ghana kept pushing for the equaliser as a long ball from Afful beat the defense and fell to Atsu inside the box, but El-Hadary saved it before Atsu was called offside.

Twenty minutes to full time, Egypt made their first substitution, as Hector Cuper brought on Mahmoud Kahrab to replace Mohsen, before Amr Warda replaced El-Said five minutes later.

Meanwhile, Avram Grant brought on Bernard Tekpetey and Wakaso to replace Samuel Tetteh and Badu.

Ghana intensified pressure in the final stages of the game in an attempt to level the score, but Gabr denied the Black Stars eight minutes from time as he cleared Ayew’s cross from a free kick.

Two minutes later, Tekpetey picked up a loose ball and sent a powerful shot toward El-Hadary’s goal, but it went wide.

Egypt’s veteran keeper produced a fine reflex save on 90 minutes to keep the Pharaohs’ lead as he pushed Ayew’s shot for a corner after the latter managed to beat Hegazy.

The referee blew the full time whistle, as Egypt advanced to the quarter-final while managing to keep their clean sheet in all their three group stage games.

The Pharaohs qualified to the knockout stage as Group D leaders with seven points and will now face Group C runners-up Morocco in the quarter-final, while Ghana will take on group winners DR Congo on Sunday.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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