Egypt and Ghana book semi-final berths in Cup

Egypt's Mahmoud Kahraba wheels away in jubilation after scoring in the 88th minute against Morocco. Egypt won 1-0 and will now face Burkina Faso in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana take on Cameroon in the other semi-final.
Egypt's Mahmoud Kahraba wheels away in jubilation after scoring in the 88th minute against Morocco. Egypt won 1-0 and will now face Burkina Faso in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana take on Cameroon in the other semi-final.PHOTO: REUTERS

PORT-GENTIL (Gabon) • Mahmoud Kahraba's late goal gave Egypt a 1-0 win over Herve Renard's Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Sunday as they joined Ghana in completing the semi-finals line-up.

Second-half substitute Kahraba stabbed home from inside the penalty box in the 88th minute, just as extra time looked inevitable.

The dramatic finish came after the Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre, both scored to give Ghana a 2-1 win against Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier in the day that sent them into the last four.

Frenchman Renard had been hoping to become the first coach to win the trophy three times with three different countries after triumphs with Zambia in 2012 and the Ivory Coast in 2015.

But instead it is Egypt who progress, their bid to win the title for a record eighth time still very much alive.

"It was a very complicated match for both teams for 94 minutes. We both had chances but we were lucky to get the goal from a dead ball," said Egypt coach Hector Cuper, whose side still have not conceded a goal in all four tournament matches.

The Argentinian added that midfielder Mohamed Elneny's calf injury has ruled him out of the semi-finals against Burkina Faso on Wednesday.

Morocco had opportunities as Romain Saiss and M'bark Boussoufa both hit the bar.

Extra time loomed until Morocco failed to deal with a corner into their box and Kahraba capitalised.

Renard said: "I am proud of all the players. One by one, honestly they were exceptional."

The second semi-final on Thursday will see Ghana face Cameroon after the Black Stars got the better of an impressive DRC side thanks to the Ayew brothers, the sons of Ghanaian great Abedi Pele.

It will be a sixth consecutive semi-final for Ghana, who have not won the trophy since 1982.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2017, with the headline 'Egypt and Ghana book semi-final berths in Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe