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AFCON: Salah Saves Egypt, Cape Verde Stuns Ghana, Osimhen Hit and Miss


Cape Verde emerged as the giant killers in the 2023 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), after a stunning 2-1 victory over favourites Ghana, marking the tournament’s first major upset.


In another nail-biter, AFCON 2021 finalists Egypt narrowly avoided an upset against Mozambique, thanks to Mohamed Salah’s last-minute equaliser from the penalty spot at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

“Underestimate no team in AFCON 2023.”

Read: AFCON 2023: Algeria, Cameroon Draw, Senegal Buries Gambia

Garry Rodrigues capitalised on a defensive mix-up in the Black Stars’ backline, tapping the ball into an empty net in the 92nd minute.

The islanders had initially taken the lead with Jamiro Monteiro finding the net. Ghana, in turn, had a goal disallowed for offside before halftime, adding to the drama of the encounter.

Despite Alexander Djiku’s equaliser with a stooping header, Ghana’s keeper, Richard Ofori, made two crucial saves before Rodrigues secured the decisive goal for Cape Verde.

The Blue Sharks now lead Group B, consisting of Egypt, Ghana, and Mozambique, following an eventful round-robin group stage that saw some top players booking premature flights back to their respective leagues.

Ghana Coach Attacked by Angry Fan

Following Ghana’s upset loss to Cape Verde, away from the pitch, an angry supporter attempted to strike coach Chris Hughton at the team hotel.

The fan was intercepted by security and taken away by police. This incident adds a troubling dimension to Ghana’s unexpected defeat in one of Sunday’s shock results.

Read Also: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania Named Joint Hosts of AFCON 2027

Hit and Miss from Osimhen

Victor Osimhen levelled the scores for the Super Eagles just two minutes after Ivan Salvador found the target for Equatorial Guinea in the first half of the game.

The Napoli striker then pulled a golden chance wide in the second half, leaving fans cringing.

Oimhen was left head in hands after missing out on grabbing maximum points for Nigeria with just minutes left on the clock – having cleverly beaten the offside trap.

Salah’s Goal Rescues Egypt

Egypt’s Mustafa Mohamed netted a sensational snap shot that caught goalkeeper Ernane Siluane and his defensive line off guard only four minutes after kickoff.

In the game’s dying moments, Egypt received an unexpected lifeline when a penalty was granted after Mohamed was fouled in the area, following an extensive VAR review.

Mohamed Salah registered an assist and a 97th-minute equaliser for Egypt against Mozambique after stepping up and converting his spot-kick.

Coach Rui Vitoria was undoubtedly following the skipper’s 11th-hour strike.

No Underdogs at AFCON

Aside from hosts Cote d’Ivoire calmly dispatching Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the tournament opener, it is clear that no team should be underestimated in this edition of Africa’s premier football showcase.

Al Naasr’s Seko Fofana curled in the tournament’s first goal, and Jean-Phillipe Krasso sealed the deal with an acrobatic volley after being gifted the ball in the penalty area.

As it stands, Cote d’Ivoire and Cape Verde lead Group A and B, respectively, as we eagerly await today’s AFCON 2023 fixtures:

  • Senegal vs Gambia at 5:00 pm
  • Cameroon vs Guinea at 8:00 pm
  • Algeria vs Angola at 11:00 pm (East African Time EAT)

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