The Pharos topped the group D table to progress to the Quarter finals of the Gabon 2017 AFCON after beating Ghana 1-0 in the last round of games at group stages.
Mohamed Salah converted an excellent free kick to a goal at the 10th minute which the Black Stars of Ghana were unable to cancel out after a strong comeback in the game in the 2nd half.
A quick run through of the highlights we noted are:
1. LESS DESPERATE GHANA:
The posture of the Ghana team was an enough a fact to tell any passer-by Ghana were playing just for the purposes of the books. Ghana who already booked a place in the quarter-final dropped four key starters. You might be insane to think Ghana gave the win to the Egyptian but is a fact Ghana weren’t hungry as they showed in previous games.
2. EGYPT’S CLEAN SHEET:
They’re the only team yet to concede a goal at the ongoing tournament after the group stages. Attempts by Ghana’s Jordan Ayew and Agyeman Badu were denied by the Good old Egyptian keeper El Hadari. Hadari 44, who is old enough to be a father of most of the Ghanaian players averaging 25 ensured his net was kept unshaken regardless of the threats. The veteran keeper is currently playing his 8th AFCON tournament.
3. AVRAM GOT WHAT HE WANTED THOUGH GHANA LOST:
The Ghana coach Avram Grant had earlier indicated the state of the pitch of the Port Gentil stadium where they’re based is very poor. With Egypt now finishing as the group D leaders, they will remain at Port Gentil to host Morocco in the quarterfinals while Ghana will travel to Ayem for it quarter-final game with Dr Congo. A new ground for Ghana and we guess Avram will be happy.
4. GHANA PLAYED WELL IN 2ND HALF BUT LOST:
Many questioned the second performance of the Black Stars team after the their 1st two games against Uganda and Mali. With Ghana usually scoring during 1st half, the team turn to defend and absorb more pressure in 2nd half, that wasn’t the case in the game against Egypt. Ghana was scored in the first half and that gingered the boys to put up a better 2nd performance thus far.
5. NO GYAN, NO GOAL:
Ghana Captain Asamoah Gyan lasted only 38 minutes in the game following an injury which led coach Avram Grant to effect a force substitution. The presence of Gyan on the pitch for Ghana has proven enormously significant to the team. Most Ghana fans will hope to see him return to the pitch against Dr Congo on Sunday.
FOLLOW: Nazir Hamzah @Oseikromniiba