D.R Congo Progress To Quarter-Finals After Dramatic Penalty Shootout

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D.R Congo has knocked out Egypt after defeating the team 8-7 on penalties in the round of 16. Stade Laurent Pokou was blazing throughout the 120 minutes the game was played. Meschack Elia scored to put D.R. Congo into the lead in the 37th minute. He headed home from the six-yard box to score the game’s opening goal.

The Pharaohs showed what they were made of by responding to D.R. Congo’s lead in the first half. Egypt was awarded a penalty after the VAR review. Attacker Mostafa Mohamed made no mistake as he converted it into the top right corner. Goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi-Nzau was beaten.

The seven-time champions, despite their second-half dominance, couldn’t break down the resilient D.R Congo defense: the game finally went to extra time, which is the very first one of the tournament in Côte D’Ivoire. Egypt was reduced to a 10-man team in the extra time after Hamdi Mohamed was sent off following his second yellow card of the game.

The numerical disadvantage didn’t prevent Egypt from pressing and creating the chances. The game travelled to the shootout, and Egypt missed twice from the penalty spot – Mostafa Mohamed and goalkeeper, Gabaski both missed their kicks. Arthur Masuaku had missed his earlier for D.R. Congo.

D.R. Congo won 8-7 in penalties and has progressed to the quarter-finals. That was commendable for a team that was eliminated at the knockout stage in its two previous appearances. Sebastien Desabre’s men will now face Guinea in the last 8. Egypt for the second time, has failed to advance from the Round of 16 in three attempts(2017 and 2019).

“I’m very proud of my players. We had a strategy in place to contain this team, but we played too low in the first half. I changed it afterward, and we played better. We suffered, but I think Egypt did too. My knowledge of Egyptian football probably helped us. They’re a good team but we were better today. Mentally, I think we were very strong. Now we’ll try to recover well and then we’ll take it match after match, starting with Guinea, our next opponent,” said Sébastien Desabre, DR Congo coach.

“It wasn’t what we expected. We came up against a tough opponent. Each team has its strong and weak moments. 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,” Rui Vitoria, Egypt coach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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