Mohamed Salah's late penalty rescues Egypt in thrilling AFCON opener against Mozambique
Mohamed Salah's heroics came to the forefront as he secured a last-minute penalty, enabling Egypt to salvage a dramatic 2-2 draw against Mozambique.
In the inaugural match of the Africa Cup of Nations, Mohamed Salah played the hero's role, securing a 2-2 draw for Egypt against Mozambique with a last-minute penalty. Mostafa Mohamed gave the seven-time Afcon champions an early lead, but Mozambique orchestrated a quick turnaround in the second half with goals from Witi and Clesio.
Mozambique's aspirations for a historic victory were dashed in added time when Salah, following a VAR review that confirmed a foul on Mohamed, calmly converted from the penalty spot. Egypt started strong, taking the lead after just two minutes when Salah's mis-hit shot allowed Mostafa Mohamed to capitalise, turning past Edmilson Dove and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
Despite their early lead, Egypt faced challenges, with Witi missing a chance and Mahmoud Trezeguet hitting the post. Mohamed El Shenawy had to make a crucial save after a poor clearance attempt from Mohamed Hamdy. Mozambique, persistent in the second half, found success in the 55th minute when Witi headed home a cross from Domingos Macandza.
Three minutes later, Clesio secured Mozambique's lead, skillfully evading Ahmed Hegazi's tackle and calmly finishing past El Shenawy. Egypt pushed for an equalizer, with Zizo and Salah missing chances, while Hamdy Fathy flicked the ball just wide. In a dramatic turn of events, Egypt was awarded a late penalty after a VAR review for a foul on Mohamed, and Salah sealed the draw with a precise spot-kick in the dying moments.