Following a tight 1-1 tie in regulation time, DR Congo defeated seven-time champion Egypt 8-7 in a nail-biting penalty shootout in an exciting Africa Cup of Nations last-16 match at San Pedro on Sunday.
In the pivotal match, Egypt goalie Mohamed Abou Gabal missed his penalty and struck the crossbar and Lionel Mpasi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo put the finishing touches on the victory with a confident goal. With this thrilling win, DR Congo advances to the quarterfinals, where they will play Guinea on Friday in Abidjan.
Meschack Elia headed a header from close range to give DR Congo the lead, but Mostafa Mohamed’s penalty kick shortly before halftime gave Egypt the equalizer. The Pharaohs had more difficulties after Egypt midfielder Mohamed Hamdy was sent off in extra time and star player Mohamed Salah was out due to injury.
Yoane Wissa, Dylan Batubinsika and Mpasi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo played crucial roles in ensuring their position in the next round, against Egypt best efforts and the encounter’s significance in history. Both teams missed early in the tight shootout, but Mpasi’s 18th penalty was what finally put an end to Egypt’s AFCON adventure.
Egypt coached by Rui Vitoria, finished the tournament without a victory after the shocking exit, which was similar to what happened to them in the 2021 final. With their win, the Leopards have joined the ranks of the AFCON’s underdog success tales. The matchup against Guinea in the quarterfinals at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan will be thrilling.