AFCON AFCON 2023: Mozambique gutted with outcome of Egypt game – Conde

Mozambique coach Chiquinho Conde did not hide his disappointment after the 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations opening draw against Egypt at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Ivory Coast on Sunday.

It was Mohamed Salah, who scored a late penalty to deny the Mambas what could have been a famous win against the Pharaohs in their opening Group B fixture. 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.

Read Also: AFCON 2023: Salah saves Egypt with late penalty against Mozambique

Mozambique’s forward #19 Witi celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Egypt and Mozambique at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on January 14, 2024. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Speaking after the game, Conde said: “The match was difficult and it was a challenge, we expected everything during this competition and we must invest all our potential in the service of the team and that is what happened.

We are really sad because this result does not match our expectations. Egypt had a lot of space in the first half, but in the second half, there were tactical changes that allowed us to cause them problems. Unfortunately, the penalty they got didn’t help us.”

On whether he was surprised with how his players played, Conde said: “Two systems were put in place and everything was well structured according to the characteristics of our players. The system in place is 3-4-1 and we asked the players to stay focused and pay attention in the first minutes.

“Unfortunately we had to concede a goal very early and the team reacted very well afterward. I am grateful to the players for the result. They have demonstrated that we can find solutions in difficulty.”

On whether the Mambas stand a chance to qualify for the group which also has Cape Verde and Ghana, Conde responded: “We have fantastic players in our country and beyond our borders, players who have proven themselves in major competitions like the African Champions League and European competitions. We proved that we are at the AFCON because we deserved it. We don’t have stars on our team but we have a collective and it is with this strength that we will continue to play whatever the opponent we face.”


Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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