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Salah-less Egypt exits AFCON in last 16 after shootout loss to DR Congo


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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Congo knocked seven-time champion Egypt out of the Africa Cup of Nations with an 8-7 win on penalties after the teams finished 1-1 after extra time on Sunday in the round-of-16 match.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal struck the crossbar with his spot kick before Lionel Mpasi stepped up to send Congo into the quarterfinals.

Gabal was only playing because regular goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy dislocated his shoulder in the team’s final group game against Cape Verde.

It was the latest misfortutune for Egypt, which lost Liverpool star Mohamed Salah to a hamstring injury during the 2-2 draw with Ghana in their second match.

The Egyptian Football Association sacrificed a cow on Thursday in an effort to change the team’s luck.

But the team’s defense was caught out by a quick throw in for Congo’s opening goal, scored by Meschack Elia in the 37th.

Mostafa Mohamed equalized from the spot in first-half stoppage time. But extra time was needed between two teams that had failed to win any of their games so far.

Egypt finished the game with 10 players when defender Mohamed Hamdy was sent off in the first period of extra time with his second yellow card for a late challenge on Simon Banza.

In the shootout, Mohamed struck Egypt’s second penalty to the right of the goal, but Congo’s Arthur Masuaku reciprocated by sending his effort over and no other players missed until Abou Gabal did.

Congo will next face Guinea.

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