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Salah creates goal as Egypt win secures Cup of Nations place

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Liverpool star Mohamed Salah set up the equalizer for Egypt in a 2-1 win over Guinea on Wednesday that secured a place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Serhou Guirassy put Guinea ahead on 26 minutes in the central Moroccan city of Marrakech and substitute Mahmoud Trezeguet leveled three minutes before half-time off a Salah pass.

Former Aston Villa forward Trezeguet turned creator after 79 minutes with a cross that Mostafa Mohamed slammed past goalkeeper Ibrahima Kone in the Group D matchday five showdown.

An eventful night for Turkey-based Trezeguet ended with an added-time yellow card after he refused to be stretchered from the pitch following an injury, preferring to limp off.

Salah displayed some exquisite touches as Egypt joined hosts the Ivory Coast, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia at the African showpiece from January 13..

Among the eight countries already assured of places at the 24-team tournament, only Burkina Faso have not lifted a trophy that symbolizes African national team supremacy.

It was a third straight group victory of the record seven-time Cup of Nations winners after a stunning 2-0 loss to Ethiopia on matchday two last June that cost coach Ehab Galal his job.

Defeat for Guinea leaves the second qualifying place from the group between them and Malawi, who play Ethiopia on Tuesday and the Guineans in the final round during September.

If Malawi win both matches they will finish level with Guinea on nine points and head-to-head records will determine who finishes runners-up.

– Gambia win thriller –

Gambia, who exceeded expectations as debutants by reaching the quarter-finals at the last Cup of Nations before losing to hosts Cameroon, edged South Sudan 3-2 in a Group G thriller.

South Sudan, who have never qualified, equalized twice before Denmark-based Gambian Hamza Barry scored the winning goal six minutes into added time.

Rehan Angier conceded an own goal after only four minutes in the Egyptian city of Ismailia — a temporary home for the Sudanese because they do not have an international-standard stadium.

Valentino Yuel leveled midway through the opening half in 31 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) heat and there were no further goals before half-time.

Ablie Jallow put Gambia ahead a second time halfway through the second half and in added time, Peter Chol equalized before Barry became the hero of Gambia by firing a rebound into the net.

Guinea-Bissau struggled to overcome minnows Sao Tome e Principe 1-0 through a 55th-minute Zinho Gano goal, but the three points lifted them above Nigeria to first place in Group A.

Sao Tome are another country lacking an international-standard stadium and conceded home advantage with the match staged in Bissau.

After conceding 10 goals to Nigeria and five to Guinea-Bissau in earlier qualifiers, Sao Tome did better than expected in a match that produced 20 goal attempts, but only three on target.

Nigeria play Sierra Leone on Sunday and a draw for the Super Eagles will suffice to clinch qualification for them and Guinea-Bissau.


©️ Agence France-Presse

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