|Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah will meet at the AFCON finals on Sunday after Egypt beat Cameroon on penalties in the second semifinal on Thursday. (Photo credit: @LFC)|
Carlos Queiroz saw red in the second half of Egypt’s semifinal triumph over hosts Cameroon but his joy knew no bounds as the Pharoes came out tops on penalties.
Olembe stadium hosted a game for the first time since the unfortunate stampede that claimed eight lives just over a week ago and the mood in the air told the whole story ahead of kickoff, the hosts needed to rise above stereotypes while Egypt had points to prove as well.
The opening exchanges had Cameroon written all over it, the Indomitable Lions peltered the Egyptian areas time after time but they didn’t take their chances, Egypt were vulnerable on set pieces but Cameroon failed to capitalize.
Cameroon centreback Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui had the best chances of a first half that was low on tempo, high on ball turn over and short on opportunity; the defender hit the crossbar with a header from a corner after 18 minutes and then miscued an opportunity along the ground from the set-piece that followed straight after.
The game dovetailed in the second half with both sides prepared for penalties, chances were few and the game went into conservative mode, fans would be disappointed as they probably expected more from two of the top sides in the continent.
The game went into penalties and Cameroon for all their worth were disgraceful, missing three of their four kicks, Clinton N’jie side-footed wide and the Egyptians wheeled away in celebration, they will now face Senegal in the final.
Senegal and Egypt were paired together in the World Cup final qualifiers, the AFCON final is a great opportunity for either side to size up and figure how to come out tops, Liverpool duo of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane will go head to head, it’s a triple header now.