Seven-time Africa Cup of Nations champions Egypt have been bundled out of the tournament following an 8-7 loss to the Democratic Republic of Congo on penalties. Their tie ended in a 1-1 draw at the end of extra time.
In a tightly contested match, Meschack Elia put the Congolese ahead in the 37th minute after a Yoane Wissa cross was deflected goal-wards by Ahmed Heghazi with Elia heading the ball into an empty net.
The lead would be cut short a few minutes later as a VAR review showed Dylan Batubinsika impeding Heghazi in the box, with the referee awarding The Pharaohs a penalty which was converted by Mostafa Mohammed to cancel out Congo’s opener.
Mohamed Hamdy would get sent off in the first half of extra time after receiving a second booking but The Pharaohs hanged on for a shoot-out.
Mohamed missed Egypt’s second spot-kick, but the Congolese failed to capitalize as Arthur Masuaku fluffed his lines.
It would come down to the keepers, with Egypt’s Abou ‘Gabaski’ Gabal stepping up but blazed his spot-kick over, with his Congolese counterpart Lionel Mpasi taking advantage of the opponent slip up to score the decisive penalty and book the country’s place in the quarter-finals.
It would be a bitter pill to swallow for Egypt’s Mo Salah, who was determined to get fit for a possible Egypt semi-final spot, with his dream of winning a first-ever AFCON trophy now looking slim.
Congo will face Guinea in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Friday.