Europa Conference League final previewMay 24 | 4 min read
Mohamed Salah scores winning spot-kick as Egypt edge past Ivory Coast
The sides remained locked together at 0-0 after 120 minutes.
Mohamed Salah fired seven-times winners Egypt into the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals as they edged past Ivory Coast in a dramatic penalty shoot-out after a goalless draw.
The Liverpool striker converted the Pharaohs’ fifth spot-kick after substitute goalkeeper Gabaski had kept out Eric Bailly’s casual effort to secure a 5-4 victory and a last eight showdown with Morocco.
Egypt were first to threaten when striker Omar Marmoush rattled the bar with a curling 17th-minute effort, and Ivory Coast keeper Badra Sangare had to tip over Salah’s dipping attempt.
However, the Elephants responded as the half-time whistle approached when Ibrahim Sangare forced Mohamed El Shenawy into a 39th-minute stop with an acrobatic volley before the keeper repelled Sebastien Haller’s strike from distance in stoppage time.
Early in the second half, Egypt’s Amr El Soleya fired wastefully over from Salah’s square ball and Mohamed Elneny saw his deflected cross scrambled away by Badra Sangare.
Egypt keeper El Shenawy had to tip over Haller’s 70th-minute header after Bailly had turned the ball back across goal and, after Trezeguet had come off the bench to fire wide from a tight angle at the other end, saved with his legs from substitute Wilfried Zaha as the 90 minutes ended goalless.
Egypt’s Mohamed Sherif, who had been introduced at the start of extra-time, was left bloodied after heading just over within three minutes of his arrival, and Badra Sangare parried Zizo’s raking 98th-minute strike.
Gabaski, who had replaced the injured El Shenawy with two minutes of normal time remaining, had to claw Ibrahim Sangare’s 104th-minute shot out of his top corner, but the sides remained locked together and penalties were required.
Keeper Jesus Owono was Equatorial Guinea’s hero as his decisive shoot-out save made Mali pay for missed chances.
The Eagles enjoyed the better of normal time in Limbe, but the game finished 0-0 after extra time and Owono’s save from defender Falaye Sacko clinched a 6-5 victory on penalties with Senegal awaiting his side in the quarter-finals.
Defensive midfielder Amadou Haidara might have given Mali a 32nd-minute lead, but scuffed his shot as he fell after controlling the ball deep inside the penalty area.
Their frustration grew when they were awarded a 40th-minute penalty for Josete Miranda’s challenge on Moussa Doumbia, only for referee Bakary Gassama to change his decision after being advised to review the incident by the VAR official.
Mohamed Camara passed up a glorious opportunity to put Mali ahead when he fired wildly over from Yves Bissouma’s 58th-minute cut-back and substitute Moussa Djenepo saw his effort deflected just wide with 19 minutes remaining.
Equatorial Guinea enjoyed their best spell of the game as normal time drew to a close, and they carried that into extra time with Basilio Ndong testing Mounkoro with a long-range strike which bounced just in front of him, but it was they who held their nerve from 12 yards.