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DR Congo beat Egypt on penalties in Cup of Nations last-16

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal missed his penalty in the shootout, and the Democratic Republic of Congo won 8-7 after a tight 1-1 draw in their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 match in San Pedro on Sunday.

Abou Gabal touched the crossbar with his shot, and then opposite number Lionel Mpasi scored against him, as the record seven-time winners Egypt was eliminated at the Laurent Pokou Stadium, generating ecstatic celebrations for the Congolese, who will now face Guinea in the quarter-finals in Abidjan on Friday.

Meschack Elia gave DR Congo the lead in the game when he headed in nearly on the goal-line, but the advantage lasted nine minutes until Mostafa Mohamed scored his fourth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot.

Egypt midfielder Mohamed Hamdy received a red card in extra time, after which The Pharaohs, without injured talisman Mohamed Salah, stopped attacking and held on as the game went to a shootout.

The last time DR Congo beat Egypt in a Cup of Nations clash was in the semi-finals 50 years ago when they went on to lift the trophy.

It was a fourth draw in a row for both sides in the Ivory Coast this year, while for Egypt it was a sixth in a row dating back to the last tournament in Cameroon and a fifth extra-time in succession in knockout games.

That lack of a killer touch came back to haunt them as they could not finish the game in the 90 minutes, and once Hamdy received his marching orders it was always going to be a battle in the sweltering heat of San Pedro.

DR Congo took the lead on 37 minutes when Yoann Wissa’s deflected cross from the left was headed over the line by Elia. The goal emanated from a quick throw-in that Egypt felt should have been theirs, and as such were slow to react when the Congolese re-started play.

But Egypt levelled in first-half injury-time when Congolese defender Dylan Batubinsika struck the face of Ahmed Hegazi with an extended arm during an aerial dual in the penalty-box, and a spot-kick was awarded after a VAR review.

In the absence of Salah, Mohamed stepped up to confidently convert and net his fourth goal of the tournament, though he would later miss in the shootout.

Mohamed became the first Egyptian player to score in their first four matches at Cup of Nations finals, and the third to score in four matches overall after Ali Abo Gresha (1974) and Gedo (2010).

DR Congo striker Cedric Bakambu turned a cross wide of the post when well-placed early in the second half, and Chancel Mbemba headed over moments later as the game went to extra time and ultimately spot-kicks.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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