Salah shines as Egypt advances to African Cup semifinals

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Mohamed Salah scored the equalizer and created the winning goal to inspire Egypt’s comeback to beat Morocco 2-1 after extra time and reach the semi-finals of the African Cup.

Egypt fell behind thanks to an early penalty won by Achraf Hakimi and converted by Sofiane Boufal after seven minutes on Sunday.

Egypt captain Salah reacted quickly to grab a rebound to make it 1-1 in the 53rd and sent a perfect low cross for Trézéguet to convert near the end of the first half of extra time.

Egypt were left with third-choice goalkeeper Mohamed Sobhy for most of extra time after an injury to Mohamed Abou Gabal, who was already in the squad in place of first-choice Mohamed el-Shenawy.

Abou Gabal was injured in regulation time but tried to overcome it. He couldn’t and had to come off in the sixth minute of extra time, leaving the 22-year-old Sobhy to make his country debut at the end of a high-pressure match.

In the end it was not put to the test and Salah and Trézéguet combined for the winner four minutes after Sobhy’s tackle. Salah faced three defenders covering him on the right wing, but went wide and sent a right-footed cross to Trézéguet’s goal at the far post.

Salah was about to achieve the second in the final, chaotic moments when the Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou joined the attack in the desperate search for the equalizer and left the Moroccan goal unguarded.

Egypt broke and Salah chased down a through ball but couldn’t force it into the empty net from a tight angle.

It did not matter. Full time came about a minute later and Egypt moved on to a semi-final against host Cameroon, which is a repeat of the 2017 African Cup final that Cameroon won.

Egypt have not won the African Cup since their seventh title in 2010, which extended their record. Salah made his debut for the national team a year after that triumph and is still searching for a first major title with his country.

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