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AFCON 2017: Egypt beats Morocco, breaking 31-year curse Open in fullscreen

Uri Levy

AFCON 2017: Egypt beats Morocco, breaking 31-year curse

Egypt scored near end of the match, which ended in victory for the redshirts [AFP]

Date of publication: 30 January, 2017

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In the last quarter final match of the Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco and Egypt met for an All Arab derby, which concluded with a precious Egyptian victory.

In the last quarter final match of the Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco and Egypt met for an All Arab derby, between the last two North African teams in the competition.

The match started in an intense rhythm by both teams. Morocco, with Hamza Mendyl and Boussoufa tried to break the Egyptian defence line, but Egypt are an organised national team.

On the other side the Pharaohs, with Mohamed Salah gained two chances and won a corner in the first ten minutes.

On the 14th minute Egypt got it first real chance of the match. Mahmoud Trezeguet Hassan received a long ball by Salah and bombed half a volley straight to Munir, Morocco goalkeeper, legs. That was close.

Morocco did not have any threatening chances in the first 20 minutes, but when they did attack, they seemed more dangerous than the Egyptians.

En-Nesyri tried to force himself on the Egyptian flank players, but was caught in foul again and again.

Egypt’s Marwan Mohsen got injured and was replaced by Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’, Braga’s striker.

Despite the promising start, the match slowly became a unattractive defensive display, with poor tries by the teams to find their way to score.  0-0 at half time.

Morocco opened the second half in huge enthusiasm. They pressured Egypt high, and Karim Hafez and El-Mohamady couldn’t keep the ball in their control for too long.

Morocco opened the second half in huge enthusiasm. They pressured Egypt high, and Karim Hafez and El-Mohamady couldn’t keep the ball in their control for too long.

On the 50th minute, the game took an interesting turn. Attacks flew from side to side, Morocco dazzling the crossbar and making Al-Hadary stretch his arms. Egypt, also tried her luck in a counter attack but Koka wasn’t able to sting Munir.

Egypt wanted to change the momentum, and threw Mahmoud Kahraba from Ittihad Jeddah in to try and electrify the play.

It did not interrupt Morocco who almost scored in the counter attack after a header by Bouhaddouz.

On the 76th minute Egypt got its best chance in the whole game. Abdallah Said founded Salah in a smart chip, but the Roma star failed in the volley and Munir stopped his weak shot. What a waste of chance for the Egyptians.

Morocco guarded Egypt well, and Said and Kahraba struggled to create a real chance.

On the 86th minute it happened – Mahmoud Kahraba put his boot in the right place and tipped in a corner by Salah – a shocking 1-0 to Egypt!

On the 86th minute it happened – Mahmoud Kahraba put his boot in the right place and tipped in a corner by Salah – a shocking 1-0 to Egypt! At this stage, the Pharaohs were on their way to the semis.

On the 93rd minute Ali Gabr made a stupid foul on the edge of the box and Morocco got a very good last chance to equalice the score.

Faycal Fajr sent the ball out, and this was it!

Egypt are off to the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations, where strong Burkina Faso is waiting for them. Egypt is the last Arab team in the competition and the last representative of North Africa, and the Middle East in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Egypt: Essam El Hadary; Ahmed Fathy; Ahmed Hegazi; Ali Gabr; Karim Hafez (sub-Kahraba-63’, goal 87’); Ahmed El Mohamady; Abdalla El Said; Mohamed Salah  ; Marwan Mohsen (sub-Koka 43’); Trézéguet; Tarek Hamed (sub-Samir 93’); Coach: H. Cúper

Morocco: Munir; M. da Costa; M. Benatia; H. Mendyl; K. El Ahmadi; M. Boussoufa; N. Dirar; F. Fajr; R. Saïss (sub-Alioui 92’); A. Bouhaddouz(sub-El-Kaddouri 78’); Y. En-Nesyri; Coach: H. Renard

Uri Levy runs the popular football blog BabaGol, which covers football and politics focusing on the Middle East. Follow him on Twitter, and read his blog here

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