Egypt coach Rui Vitoria has said he will take the blame after the Pharaohs’ journey at the Africa Cup of Nations ended in the Round of 16 following their penalty shootout defeat against DR Congo on Sunday.
In the fixture at Stade Laurent Pokou, the Leopards won 8-7 after a 1-1 draw in normal and added time. Meschack Elia had scored to put DR Congo into the lead in the 37th minute but the Pharaohs showed what they are made up of by responding to level in the first half.
Egypt were awarded a penalty after a VAR review and attacker Mostafa Mohamed made no mistake as he converted it into the top right corner. Egypt were reduced to 10 men in the extra time after Hamdi Mohamed was sent off following his second yellow card of the game and the numerical disadvantage didn’t prevent Egypt from pressing and creating chances.
However, the game went to a shootout and Egypt missed twice from the penalty spot, Mostafa Mohamed and goalkeeper, Gabaski both missed their kicks, while Arthur Masuaku missed his earlier kick for Congo.
“It wasn’t what we expected. We came up against a tough opponent. Each team have its strong and weak moments,” said Vitoria, adding: “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.”
Egypt have twice failed to advance from the Round of 16 in three previous attempts. DR Congo’s progress having been eliminated in their first knockout game in their two previous appearances (2019 and 2017).