- Mozambique come from behind to give Egypt a scare
- Salah holds nerve with late penalty
- Egypt lacking fluency
In their opening Group B match at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt narrowly avoided a setback against Mozambique, thanks to Mohamed Salah’s injury-time penalty. The Pharaohs initially took the lead after just 89 seconds when Mostafa Mohamed found the net.
Mozambique fightback highlights Egypt’s lack of fluency
Despite expectations of a routine victory for Egypt, Mozambique fought back in the second half with quick goals from Witi and Clesio, putting the Mambas in a position to secure their first-ever Afcon win. However, in the dying moments of the game, Domingos Macandza’s challenge on Mohamed led to a penalty. With the help of Video Assistant Referee intervention, Salah calmly converted the spot-kick, securing a draw for Egypt.
Despite the early lead, Egypt, seven-time champions, displayed a lack of fluid attacking play. Star player Salah, who expressed a strong desire to win his first Nations Cup, struggled to exert significant influence. The opening goal came from a fortuitous miskick by Salah, setting up Mostafa Mohamed’s well-taken shot.
While Mohamed proved to be Egypt’s most dangerous player in the first half, opportunities were missed, including a shot saved by Mozambique goalkeeper Ernan and a post-hit by Trezeguet from Mohamed’s knockdown. Egypt’s fans, many displaying Palestinian flags, expected more goals from their team.
The Mambas, without star forward Geny Catamo due to suspension, also had their chances, with Witi’s attempts narrowly missing the target and forcing a save from Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.
As Egypt aims for another Nations Cup title, head coach Rui Vitoria recognizes the need for improvement in their overall performance. The tournament outcome remains uncertain, and Salah’s aspiration to lift the trophy will depend on the team’s ability to elevate their game in the coming matches.
Egypt were priced at 9/1 behind favourites Morroco, Senegal and Algeria with bet365. Bettors need to analyse Egypt’s group stage performances and decide whether they look like genuine contenders should they make the knockout stages.
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