AFCON 2023: Salah-less Egypt gears up for DR Congo showdown in knockout stage


As Egypt gears up for a crucial Round of 16 clash against the Democratic Republic of Congo in San Pédro, the absence of talisman Mohamed Salah looms large.

Despite losing Salah to injury in the second game and struggling to secure a win in regular time during the group stage (D3), Egypt clinched the second spot with three draws.

The Pharaohs, record seven-time AFCON winners, find themselves in a challenging position, but the team’s resilience has been evident with other players stepping up in Salah’s absence.

Egypt’s six goals in the tournament have seen contributions from various players, alleviating concerns about Salah’s absence.

While they were eliminated at this stage in 2019, Egypt’s impressive track record in recent AFCON appearances provides a psychological advantage.

On the other side, the Democratic Republic of Congo also enters the Round of 16 after drawing all three of their group games. Their goal-scoring struggles, netting just twice in the group stage, may be a cause for concern, particularly against a historically dominant Egyptian side.

DR Congo’s quest for their first victory in the tournament is heightened by their prior losses to Egypt with multi-goal margins.

Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed, who has consistently found the net in the tournament, becomes a key player to watch in Salah’s absence.

Meanwhile, Silas emerges as DR Congo’s main goal threat, having scored the crucial equalizer against Morocco and maintaining a scoring streak for club side Stuttgart.

The Round of 16 clash promises to be a historic battle for both teams, as DR Congo seeks its first victory in AFCON against a Salah-less Egypt that aims to secure a quarterfinal spot despite the odds.

With both teams looking for a breakthrough, the match is poised to be a test of resilience and determination in the pursuit of AFCON glory.

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