Egypt qualified for the AFCON last 16 after late drama against Cape Verde, while Ghana conceded TWO stoppage time goals in a chaotic game against Mozambique… as fans hailed it as the ‘BEST group stage’ they’ve seen

Egpyt qualified for the last 16 of the AFCON and weathered one of the tournament’s most dramatic group stage finals with a 2-2 draw against Cape Verde.

An injured Mo Salah watched from the stands as Egypt secured a point against the Group B winners to finish second in their group – both sides scoring in stoppage time.

The point would not have been enough without a late capitulation by Ghana, who conceded two goals in stoppage time to throw away a 2-0 lead against lowly Mozambique and finish only third in the group.

The results mean Egypt scrape through to the last 16 with three points, while Ghana are virtually out, having finished third in the group with two points.

While Ghana could still qualify as one of the top four teams in third place, their chances of doing so are devastatingly slim.

Mohamed Salah, injured, watched anxiously as Egypt stumbled into the last 16 of the AFCON

Egypt drew 2-2 with Cape Verde – a result that wouldn’t have been enough elsewhere had it not been for Ghana’s late collapse

Ghana conceded two goals in stoppage time – one from Andre Ayew’s penalty – to throw away a 2-0 lead against Mozambique

Chris Hughton’s side finished third in Group B with two points – most likely not enough to qualify

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Salah – who was criticized by the Egyptian public and their most high-profile player before returning to Liverpool to rehabilitate from injury – will be relieved his country has been spared their reds.

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He will be fearing the worst as the Pharaohs stare down an early exit after falling behind to a Gilson Tavares goal while Ghana went ahead against Mozambique elsewhere.

But super sub Mahmoud Trezeguet pulled Egpyt level and Mostafa Mohamed fired them ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Cape Verde then shocked Egypt when they equalized through Bryan Teixeira, only to be saved by a Ghanaian horror show.

Ghana, led by former Brighton boss Chris Hughton, took a 2-0 lead against minnows Mozambique thanks to Jordan Ayew’s penalties either side of half-time.

But Mozambique pulled one back a minute from the break when they were awarded a penalty after Ander Ayew – the brother of their striker – handballed the ball and Geny Catamo fired his effort into the bottom corner.

Their dramatic comeback was completed four minutes into extra time when Reinildo Mandava nodded the ball in from a corner to all but end Ghana’s hopes of progressing to the next round.

“AFCON is mental. What a tournament,” one user wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Ghana, the four-time winners, are likely to exit the group stages for the second consecutive AFCON


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“The biggest AFCON group stage ever. Best group stage in any football tournament in my life,” said another.

“This is an excellent AFCON. You switch to one game of insanity and all you do is miss the chaos on the other channel,” grumbled another.

One impressed user wrote: “This AFCON is turning out to be one of the best ever. Lots of goals, screamers, late goals, drama, zero controversy. The host team was eliminated in the group stage (unconfirmed). It’s time for Africa.’

Ghana’s collapse is welcome news for Ivory Coast, who finished third in their own group after a 4-0 drubbing by Equatorial Guinea but have a point ahead of them.

Brighton and Nottingham Forest have four Ivory Coast players between them and their players could return early if they don’t make the last 16.

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