Salah salvages draw for Egypt against Mozambique

Muhammed Salah (10) of Egypt in action during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 group B football match between Egypt and Mozambique at Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on January 14, 2024. 

Mohamed Salah's injury-time penalty spared Egypt's blushes against Mozambique in their Group B opener at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

A regulation victory looked on the cards when Mostafa Mohamed put the Pharaohs ahead after just 89 seconds.

Quickfire second-half goals from Witi and Clesio gave the Mambas hope of recording a first-ever Afcon win.

But their dreams were dashed at the death when Domingos Macandza caught Mohamed, and Salah salvaged a draw.

The Video Assistant Referee had intervened to recommend that referee Dahane Beida go to the screen to review the challenge, and Salah kept his composure to net his spot-kick via the inside of the left-hand upright in the seventh minute of added time.
Despite taking their early lead, seven-time champions Egypt failed to show much in the way of fluid attacking play, with talisman Salah unable to exert any great influence on proceedings.

The Liverpool forward, 31, has talked of his desire to win a first Nations Cup, having twice been a losing finalist - including two years ago in Cameroon - but head coach Rui Vitoria will know his team must improve if Egypt are to stand any chance of that happening.

Perhaps Salah's best involvement came in the build-up to the opening goal when his miskick inadvertently fell to Mohamed, who was more alert than the surrounding defenders to guide a low strike on the turn into the corner of the net.

Minutes later, Mohamed, who was Egypt's most dangerous player in the first half, brought a smart save from Mozambique goalkeeper Ernan before his knockdown also allowed Trezeguet to strike the post.

Egypt's fans, many of whom were displaying Palestinian flags, expected more goals.

The Mambas, who were missing star forward Geny Catamo of Sporting Lisbon through suspension, also had their chances in the opening period as Witi dragged a left-footed drive just wide before forcing Pharaohs keeper Mohamed El Shenawy to tip over.

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