Advertisement

Updated January 19th, 2024 at 06:31 IST

Egypt loses Salah to injury in 2-2 Africa Cup draw with Ghana; Nigeria beats Ivory Coast 1-0

In what may be a pivotal Africa Cup of Nations match, Egypt overcame two setbacks to draw 2-2 with Ghana after Mohamed Salah was injured.

Reported by: Associated Press Television News
Ghana
Mohammed Kudus, left, and Egypt's Emam Ashour react at the end of the African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match between Egypt and Ghana in Abidjan, Ivory Coast | Image: AP
Advertisement

Egypt lost Mohamed Salah to injury before coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Ghana in their potentially decisive Africa Cup of Nations match on Thursday.

Mohammed Kudus scored both goals for Ghana but the “Black Stars” were let down by defensive mistakes as Omar Marmoush and Mostafa Mohamed capitalized to dent the four-time champion’s hopes of making the knockout stage.

Advertisement

“We made careless mistakes,” Kudus said. “Now we’ll have to get back to work, win the next one and then see what happens.”

Ghana remained bottom of Group B with just one point, level with Mozambique, while Egypt was second on two points behind group leader Cape Verde. Cape Verde and Mozambique play their second game of the tournament Friday. Only the top two in each group are assured of advancing.

Advertisement

Egypt’s hopes of a record-extending eighth Africa Cup title suffered a blow before halftime when Salah limped off holding the back of his left thigh.

Ghana was boosted by the return of Kudus, fit again after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Advertisement

Kudus’ team started promisingly but found it hard to get through the Egyptians’ defensive lines as the Ghanaian fans let their impatience show. A cooling break restored the supporters’ good mood with many standing up to dance and cheer as the party restarted in the stands.

Kudus scored in first-half injury time — a minute after Salah left the field — when he received the ball from Salis Abdul Samed, eluded one defender, then another, before firing past Mohamed El-Shenawy in the Egypt goal from well outside the area.

Advertisement

Kudus went close again after the break, before Egypt had a goal ruled out through VAR for offside and Marmoush drew a save from Richard Ofori.

Marmoush finally equalized in the 69th after capitalizing on botched backpass from Iñaki Williams.

Advertisement

Kudus replied two minutes later with a shot that took a slight deflection off a defender to sneak inside the far post. But another defensive error from Osman Bukari, who had just replaced Williams, allowed Mohamed to equalize three minutes after that.

“The level of performance was good. And we will need this going into the next game,” Ghana coach Chris Hughton said of his team’s must-win match against Mozambique on Monday. “If we put in this top performance, we have every chance of going through.”

Advertisement

NIGERIA UPSETS HOSTS

William Troost-Ekong’s second-half penalty was enough for Nigeria to jolt its campaign into life with a 1-0 win over host nation Ivory Coast.

Advertisement

The “Super Eagles” were under pressure to get a victory after drawing their opening game against Equatorial Guinea and are now all but certain of reaching the knockout stage.

Coach José Peseiro’s team finally showed defensive stability as it ended a six-game run of conceding at least a goal.

Advertisement

But it was another frustrating performance from star player Victor Osimhen, despite earning the penalty that facilitated the win.

Referee Mustapha Ghorbal awarded the spot kick after consulting video replays and deciding Ousmane Diomande had fouled Osimhen.

Advertisement

Troost-Ekong confidently fired the penalty down the center of goal in the 55th.

Osimhen missed the game’s best early chance when he shot high and wide after being played through by Samuel Chukwueze.

Advertisement

The 60,000-capacity Alassane Ouattara Stadium was mostly full for the match, as organizers said all tickets were sold out. The opening games have been affected by ticketing problems. Fans were warned to “stay away from the sun” amid temperatures above 30 degrees C (86 F) and humidity of 75%.

Abidjan was bustling with excited fans long before the game, many wearing its distinctive orange jersey, blowing their horns, and waving the country’s orange, white and green flags.

Advertisement

But Ivory Coast dropped to third in Group A on three points, one behind Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. The “Elephants” next face Equatorial Guinea on Monday, when Nigeria plays Guinea-Bissau for its final group game.

NSUE SETS HAT TRICK RECORD

Emilio Nsue scored a hat trick and Equatorial Guinea took a giant step toward the knockout stage with a 4-2 win over Guinea-Bissau in the early kickoff.

The 34-year-old Nsue became the oldest player to score a hat trick at the tournament, which is in its 34th edition, and the first in 16 years.

Advertisement

Substitute Zé Turbo scored Guinea Bissau’s consolation goal in injury time but couldn’t prevent the country’s winless run at the Africa Cup from stretching to 11 games. The “Djurtus” are bottom of the group after losing both games so far.

Advertisement

Published January 19th, 2024 at 06:31 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo