Saturday, June 22, 2024

Africa: Egypt Beat Guinea to Qualify for 2023 TotalEnergies AFCON

Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Ahmed scored and provided an assist as Egypt qualified for the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Guinea in Marrakesh on Wednesday.

Serhou Guirassy had given the Guineans a 26th minute lead but Trezeguet equalized for Egypt just before the break, and then set up Mostafa Mohamed for the winner 11 minutes to time.

The victory saw Egypt move to 12 points after five rounds of matches, and have an unassailable lead of nine points to the third placed team with one round of qualification matches left to play.

Guinea remain second with nine points and will only need a draw in the final qualification match in September to earn a ticket to the final tournament.

Playing with the need to win to assure themselves of a qualification ticket, Guinea started well and they were rewarded after 26 minutes when Guirassy tapped home from close range off a well worked team move.

Issiaga Sylla had made a brilliant run on the left and once the ball was rolled to his path, he slashed a low cross that was met by the waiting feet of Guirassy, with the keeper well beaten.

Guinea were rewarded for their industrious start to the match and they dominated possession with Egypt yet to find their feet in the duel.

But, the Pharaohs battled to draw level four minutes to the break when Trezeguet fired home from the outside of his boot from inside the box after being picked out by a sleek through ball from Mohamed Salah.

With an all square scoreline at the break, the second half was always going to see a raise in tempo. Guinea once again had the first knock on the door, this time Naby Keita trying his luck with a shot from a Francois Kamano cross, but it rolled well into the keeper’s arms.

Youngster Illaix Moriba also had a chance with a shot from the edge of the box, but it flew over.

Egypt slowly crawled back into the duel and stepped up the tempo further. Guinea keeper Ibrahim Kone made a brilliant save in the 70th minute to deny Trezeguet’s deflected shot.

But, the Pharaohs got their winner 11 minutes to time when Mostafa fired from inside the box after a delightful cutback from Trezeguet, finding him unmarked.

Guinea tried to push for an equalizer which would have been enough to hand them a qualification ticket, but Egypt guarded their single goal advantage well.


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