The Pharaohs of Egypt hopes of winning an eighth African Cup of Nations trophy is on course as they booked their place in Sunday’s final at the expense of the Stallions of Burkina Faso at Libreville.
Egypt went into the semi final after beating Morocco late in their quarter final clash while Burkina Faso scored twice in the last 10mins of their quarter final clash with Tunisia to make it into the semis.
Burkina Faso created and held possession throughout the first half and were the better team going into the break but nothing to show off in terms of goals. Egypt was conscious not to conceed as they have done in their previous games and went into the break 0-0.
Egypt broke the deadlock in the second half after a layoff by El Said to Mohammed Salah was brilliantly dispatched beyond the reach of Koakou Koffi who was in post for the Stallions.
Burkina Faso responded and equalised through Aristide Bance who controlled the ball and blasted it into the net before 44 year old, Essam El Hadary could get to it. That was the first goal conceeded by Egypt in 10 AFCON games and the first in the 2017 AFCON.
Both sdes went in for the match winner but could not score again as the game entered extra time after it ended 1-1 in regulation time.
The extra time was all Burkina Faso but as it was the case in the game, goalkeeper, Essam El Haddary stood tall to deny Paul Duarte’s men.
Then came the penalty shootout to settle the sides but it was the Pharaohs who prevailed 4-3 after Burkina Faso goalkeeper, Koakou Koffi and Bertrand Traore missed for the Stallions and El Said missing for the Pharaohs.
Egypt with this penalty win advances to the final and will face the winner of the semi final 2 game at Franceville tomorrow between Ghana and Cameroon.
Burkina Faso will wait for the loser to engage them in a third place match.
Egypt has now reached the final in their last 5 AFCON tournaments namely 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2017. They failed to make it to the 2012, 2013 and 2015 AFCON. Egypt has also set a record of going unbeaten in 24 AFCON games following the draw with Burkina Faso.
Congratulations to Egypt and their manager, Hector Kuiper for reaching their 12th final in their history.