Egypt booked a quarterfinal place at the Africa Cup of Nations with a 5-4 shootout victory over Ivory Coast after a goalless draw on Wednesday, with substitute goalkeeper Mohamed Abo Gabal the hero as he saved a casual penalty from Ivorian defender Eric Bailly.
Abo Gabal pushed the penalty onto the crossbar from Bailly’s weak attempt and Mohamed Salah later converted the decisive spot kick to send seven-time winners Egypt into a last-eight clash with Morocco at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde on Sunday.
It was a lively match at the Japoma Stadium in Douala in which both sides created enough chances to win the game, but also at times lacked quality in the attacking third at either end in another largely quiet outing for Egyptian captain Salah.
Egypt are seeking their first continental title since 2010 having surprisingly fallen at the last-16 stage on home soil in 2019.
The Pharaohs, who have now progressed on all five occasions they have met the Ivory Coast in the knockout stages at the finals, reach the last eight having only scored two goals in their four matches.
Their opponents had been more fluent in attack in recent matches, but came up against an Egyptian defence that was organised and unyielding.
Egypt midfielder Omar Marmoush crashed a shot against the crossbar midway through the first half, before Salah’s goal-bound shot from the edge of the box was saved by keeper Badra Ali Sangare.
The latter also had to be smart to keep out an effort from Sebastien Haller on the stroke of half-time.
El Shennawy tipped over a close-range header from Haller, before he was forced off with a leg injury just before the end of the 90 minutes and replaced by Abo Gabal.
Egypt created a number of half-chances in extra time, but Sangare unleashed a curling effort that was superbly saved by the Egyptian keeper to send the game to penalties.
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