AFCON 2023: All eyes on Salah as Egypt face wounded Ghana


Egypt is set to face Ghana in a high-stakes Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) fixture following their underwhelming 2-2 draw against Mozambique.

Mo Salah’s 97th-minute penalty rescued Egypt from an embarrassing opening result and now they face a stern test against Ghana, needing a positive outcome to control their destiny in Group B.

Egypt, despite being favorites, faces the challenge of breaking a trend of their last five AFCON finals games, all of which ended level after 90 minutes.

With a 16-game scoring streak across all international formats, the Pharaohs are banking on their offensive prowess, provided their defense can regain its previous form after conceding against Mozambique.

On the other side, Ghana, four-time AFCON winners, is already in a precarious position after a matchday one defeat to Cape Verde.

Staring at the possibility of a second successive group stage elimination, Ghana needs a turnaround against Egypt.

A defeat coupled with a Cape Verde victory could jeopardize their chances of finishing in the top two in Group B, but the prospect of four best third-placed spots offering a knockout berth provides a glimmer of hope.

The key battle to watch unfolds between Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed, a goal-scorer on matchday one, and Ghana’s Alexander Djiku, known for his tough tackling.

“We deserved more from the match. Just when we were coming into the game, we conceded the second goal, even though we were on top of the game. We didn’t create many chances, we didn’t utilize the few chances we created, it is why we couldn’t win” Djiku said after defeat to Cape Verde. 

Defeated by the Blue Sharks, Ghana is last in Group B with zero points. The Black Stars are already somewhat up against the wall. 

“I was in the team during the last AFCON, our elimination in the first round remains the worst memory of my career and I don’t want to relive that.”

Djiku’s ability to contain Mohamed will be crucial for Ghana’s defensive efforts, especially considering Egypt’s recent scoring form. As both teams seek redemption, the Egypt vs. Ghana fixture promises to be a decisive encounter in Group B.

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