Egypt has been eliminated from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing to DR Congo on penalties.
The Pharaohs qualified for the knockout stages after a series of 2-2 draws in Group B against Mozambique, Ghana, and Cape Verde respectively.
The underwhelming results raised huge concerns ahead of their encounter with DR Congo, who had a decent run in their group finishing second behind Morocco.
Despite dominating the game in terms of possession in the first half, Egypt lacked creativity in midfield as they were missing Emam Ashour after sustaining a concussion in training ahead of the clash.
Another lapse in concentration proved costly for Egypt as they conceded after 37 minutes from a throw-in that resulted in Yoane Wissa’s cross being turned in by Meschak Elia.
However, Egypt responded just before the break with a penalty as Ahmed Hegazi was elbowed inside the box by Dylan Batubinsika.
Nantes centre-forward Mostafa Mohamed stepped up and converted from the spot to score the equalizer and his fourth goal of the competition.
The second half saw Egypt receive a huge injury blow with Ahmed Fatouh having to leave the pitch before being replaced by Mohamed Hamdy.
Hamdy’s cameo was calamitous as the fullback was cautioned just minutes after his introduction and received his second yellow card in extra time to leave his side with ten men for the remainder of extra time.
Still, Egypt managed to hold on and sent the game to a tense penalty shootout that ultimately ended 7-6 in DR Congo’s favour following Mohamed ‘Gabaski’ Abou-Gabal’s crucial miss.
It’s worth noting that Egypt failed to beat any of their four opponents throughout the tournament during 90 minutes of play.
Their catastrophic elimination is also reminiscent of their AFCON campaign in 2019, where they crashed out after losing 1-0 to South Africa on home soil in the round of 16.