Mohamed Abou Gabal was the hero as Egypt reached the Africa Cup of Nations final at the expense of hosts Cameroon with a 3-1 success on penalties.
After 120 minutes of scoreless action, goalkeeper Abou Gabal saved spot-kicks from Harold Moukoudi and James Lea Siliki before Clinton N’Jie completely missed the target.
Egypt will take on Senegal in the showpiece on Sunday, though Carlos Queiroz will not be in the dugout after being sent off for two displays of dissent towards the end of normal time.
In a low-tempo game littered with mistakes, the best chance of the first half came when Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui saw his header hit the post in the 18th minute.
Mohamed Salah was presented with a glorious chance to open the scoring in the second half by a short back pass from Martin Hongla, but he was unable to round Andre Onana after the goalkeeper hared out of his box to intervene.
Samuel Oum Gouet went close to scoring a goal of the tournament contender when his rasping 35-yard drive clipped the outside of the post, and Queiroz was sent off before the start of extra time.
The additional 30 minutes were not enough to separate the sides, but Abou Gabal’s heroics sent Egypt through to the final after they missed out on home soil in 2019.
Key Opta Facts
– Egypt have progressed from each of their last seven semi-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations, including the last two thanks to penalty shoot-outs (v Burkina Faso and Cameroon), after failing to do so in their previous four.
– Egypt have won six penalty shoot-outs at the Africa Cup of Nations, more than any other team in the competition’s history. The Pharaohs are only the second team to win three consecutive AFCON games that went into extra-time (v Ivory Coast, Morocco and Cameroon), after Ivory Coast when winning their first title in 1992.
– Cameroon have been eliminated in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time, after 1972 against Congo (0-1) and 1992 against Ivory Coast (1-3 on penalties). Before this game, the Indomitable Lions had reached the final in each of their previous four semi-final attempts.
– Cameroon have hit the woodwork four times at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (two v Ethiopia, two v Egypt), no other team have done so more often in this edition. At the same time, Egypt have seen their opponents hit the woodwork four times at this 2021 AFCON, the joint-highest such tally (level with Guinea-Bissau).
– Egypt had only one shot on target against Cameroon, equalling their lowest tally in a single Africa Cup of Nations game since Opta began collecting this data in 2010 (also one v Ghana in 2017 and 2010).
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