D.R Congo have knocked out Egypt from the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 after defeating them 8-7 on penalties in the round of 16 Sunday.
Stade Laurent Pokou was blazing throughout the 120 minutes the game was played.
Meschack Elia scored to put D.R Congo into the the lead in the 37th minute. He headed home from the six-yard box to score the game’s opening goal.
The Pharaohs showed what they are made up of by responding to D.R Congo’s lead in the first half.
Egypt were awarded a penalty after a VAR review. Attacker Mostafa Mohamed made no mistake as he converted it into the top right corner.
The seven time champions despite their second half dominance couldn’t break down the resilient D.R Congo defense.
The game finally went into extra time, the very first one of the tournament in Côte D’Ivoire.
Egypt were reduced to 10-men in the extra-time after Hamdi Mohamed was sent off following his second yellow card of the game.
The numerical disadvantage didn’t prevent Egypt from pressing and creating the chances.
In the shootout, Egypt missed twice from the penalty spot, Mostafa Mohamed and goalkeeper, Gabaski both missed their kicks, Arthur Masuaku had missed his earlier for D.R Congo.
D.R Congo won 8-7 on penalties and have progressed to the quarter-finals.
Egypt have twice failed to advance from the Round of 16 in three previous attempts. D.R Congo progress having been eliminated in their first knockout game in their two previous appearances (2019 and 2017).
Sebastien Desabre’s men will now face Guinea in the last 8.
Sébastien Desabre, DR Congo coach
I’m very proud of my players. We had a strategy in place to contain this team, but we played too low in the first half. I changed it afterwards and we played better. We suffered, but I think Egypt did too.
My knowledge of Egyptian football probably helped us. They’re a good team but we were better today. Mentally, I think we were very strong.
Now we’ll try to recover well and then we’ll take it match after match, starting with Guinea, our next opponent.
Rui Vitoria, Egypt coach
It wasn’t what we expected. We came up against a tough opponent. Each team have its strong and weak moments.
We’re very sad. We worked hard to go far in the competition.
Then there was the penalty shoot-out and that wasn’t our day. In football, there are good times and bad times.
Part of the responsibility is mine. We’re going to keep working with this team as long as I am here