Mohamed Salah scored a late penalty to deny Mozambique a famous win against the Pharaohs in their opening Group B 2-2 draw of the Africa Cup of Nations at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Ivory Coast on Sunday.
The Pharaohs had taken a deserved lead inside 90 seconds when Salah swiped an air-kick at a cross from the left and Mostafa Mohamed quickly swiveled the shot into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Ernan Siluane.
The Mambas had barely touched the ball by the time that opening goal came but they turned the game around with two quick-fire goals, the first arriving in the 55th minute when Witness Ouembo levelled matters and the second in the 58th minute after Clesio Bauque weaved through Egypt’s defence to find the back of the net.
With Mozambique looking to cause an upset, Egypt were awarded a penalty in the 96th minute and it was their captain Salah, who stepped up to send the Mozambique custodian the wrong way. After Egypt had taken the lead, Mozambique threatened with their first attack when Domingos Macandza danced past a couple of Egypt defenders but his final effort was stopped by Mohammed Elshenawy.
After the missed chance, Egypt seized the opportunity and it was Salah, who combined well with Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan and the latter laid the cross to Mostafa but his first-time shot from outside the box could not trouble Siluane.
Egypt continued to attack the Mambas, and Salah had a chance to inscribe his name in the scoresheet in the 34th minute but he failed to tap the ball into an empty net after Mozambique defenders were caught napping.
The outcome of the game saw Mozambique score against Egypt for the first time in their history, the first match between the two sides being played in 1986 AFCON while it was the first time for Egypt to concede two goals in an AFCON group-stage match for the first time since 2008.
Egypt starting XI: Mohamed El-Shennawy – Mohamed Hany, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, Ahmed Hegazi, Mohamed Hamdi, Hamdi Fathi, Mohamed Elneny, Ahmed “Zizo” El Sayed – Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan, Mohamed Salah, Mostafa Mohamed.
Mozambique starting XI: Ernan Siluane – Domingos Macandza, Edmilson Dove, Reinidlo Mandava, Edson Sitoe MEXER – Ricardo Guimaraes GUIMA, Alfonso Amade – Elias Pelembe DOMINGUES, Witness Ouembo WITI, Gildo Vilanculos, Stanley Ratifo.