Mohamed Salah scored for Egypt as they beat DR Congo 2-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, joining Nigeria in the last 16.
Egypt 2-0 DR Congo
Ahmed Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah fired Egypt into the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations with a goal each in a 2-0 win against DR Congo.
Aston Villa defender Elmohamady and Liverpool’s African Player of the Year Salah both struck first-half goals in Cairo for the Pharaohs, who followed Nigeria into the knockout stage.
Egypt, winners in 2006, 2008 and 2010 and beaten by Cameroon in the 2017 final, beat Zimbabwe in their opening match and are top of Group A.
But they did not have it all their own way against DR Congo, who twice hit the woodwork.
Marcel Tisserand crashed his effort against the woodwork from six yards in the 11th minute after Tresor Mputu’s corner had been flicked on.
Egypt opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Elmohamady stabbed the ball home from inside the penalty area after DR Congo had failed to clear Salah’s cross.
Salah’s 25-yard free kick was then turned away by goalkeeper Ley Matampi before Tisserand just failed to get on the end of Mputu’s excellent cross at the other end.
DR Congo hit the crossbar again in the 40th minute through Jonathan Bolingi’s header, but Salah made it 2-0 to the hosts three minutes later with a searing shot inside the near post.
The Leopards pressed for a way back into the match in the second period, enjoying decent spells of possession only for their end product to let them down.
Yannick Bolasie went closest to breaching the Egypt defence when his fiercely struck free kick curled narrowly wide in the closing stages.
Nigeria 1-0 Guinea
Nigeria became the first team to reach the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations by beating Guinea 1-0 in Alexandria.
The Super Eagles, who beat Burundi by the same score in their opening Group B game on Saturday, secured their place in the knockout stage thanks to Kenneth Omeruo’s second-half header.
Guinea proved difficult for Nigeria to break down, but were unable to rescue a point as they had done in their first match against Madagascar.
Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi headed the game’s first chance just wide for Guinea from a corner, while Nigeria’s best moment before the break fell to Odion Ighalo, who fired an angled shot into the side-netting.
Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi forced Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone into a fine save just after the hour mark before Nigeria broke the deadlock.
Moses Simon whipped in a corner and Omeruo got in front of his marker at the near post to glance home the game’s only goal in the 73rd minute.
Nigeria’s appeals for a penalty soon after were turned down when Ahmed Musa’s cross appeared to hit an arm in a crowded area.
The Super Eagles play Madagascar in their final group game on Sunday, while Guinea must beat Burundi in their last match and hope other results go their way.
Guinea’s Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita was forced out of the game due to injury with just under 20 minutes left.
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