Salah's late penalty salvages a point for Egypt against spirited Mozambique in AFCON

Mo Salah scores a last gasp penalty for Egypt during their AFCON match against Mozambique.[CAF]

Mohammed Salah, the revered captain of Egypt's national football team, emerged as the savior in their tense 2-2 draw against Mozambique during the opening match of Group D at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d'Ivoire 2023 on Sunday.

Egypt, a nation with a rich football heritage and seven-time champions of the tournament, got off to a flying start, with Mohamed Mostafa firing them ahead just two minutes into the game.

The goal originated from a failed connection by Salah, which Mostafa expertly converted with a swift shot into the bottom corner.

The Pharaohs continued to press, with Salah playing a key role. He set up Mostafa once again, but this time, Mozambique's goalkeeper Ernan Siluane was up to the task, thwarting the attempt. Mozambique, on the other hand, were not to be underestimated.

They nearly equalized after an own goal scare from Mohamed Abdelmonem, but Egypt's keeper El Shenawy was alert to prevent the mishap.

However, the second half saw a revitalized Mozambique team. Their determination paid off in the 55th minute when Witness Quembo, with a bullet header from a superb cross by Domingos, scored their first goal in 14 years in the competition.

The joy doubled for The Mambas three minutes later as Clesio Bauque pierced through Egypt's defense to score, turning the game on its head.

Egypt's plight seemed to deepen until the closing stages when a glimmer of hope emerged. Mostafa Mohammed was brought down in the box by Domingos Macandza, leading to a VAR review and a subsequent penalty for Egypt.

In these crucial moments, Salah stepped up and showcased his renowned composure, slotting the ball into the net to equalize for Egypt.

This dramatic encounter sets the stage for Egypt's next challenge against Ghana on January 18th at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium.

As the team regroups, the spotlight will undoubtedly remain on Salah, whose late heroics have kept Egypt's ambitions alive in this prestigious African football spectacle.

By Ochieng Oyugi 32 mins ago
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