AFCON 2023: Salah Rescues Egypt From Embarrassing Defeat Against Mozambique

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Mohamed Salah saved Egypt from an embarrassing defeat in their opening game at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday. The drama was palpable at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Ivory Coast’s economic capital as Egypt needed a Salah penalty seven minutes into injury time to snatch a 2-2 draw with Mozambique in Group B. The penalty was awarded following a VAR check for a foul on Mostafa Mohamed, and Salah’s strike denied Mozambique a historic first ever AFCON win.

“I was sad seeing my players devastated at the end because we deserved the win,” said Mozambique coach Chiquinho Conde. His nation had not won a game in four past appearances at the AFCON, and their winless record now spans 13 matches in total.

Mohamed had given record seven-time African champions Egypt the ideal start when he scored inside two minutes, but the sapping heat and humidity seemed to get the better of the Pharaohs. Mozambique equalised through a Witiness Quembo header on 55 minutes, and completed the turnaround when substitute Clesio Bauque burst through to make it 2-1 three minutes later.

Salah saved Egypt, but it was not a convincing start to their campaign in Ivory Coast where they are attempting to win a record-extending eighth AFCON crown, and a first since 2010; before the Liverpool superstar had made his international debut. “I want to win every match I play and when we don’t I am sad, but there are no easy games,” said Egypt coach Rui Vitoria.

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