Egypt cruise with maximum points, Cameroon out as Ghana qualifies

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Hosts Egypt secured top of Group A of the ongoing Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations with maximum points, defeating Cameroon 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Thursday night.

Cameroon crashed out on goal difference, after Ghana managed to beat Mali 2-0 at Al Salam Stadium in a simultaneous kickoff. Egypt topped the group with 9 points, Ghana has four (goal difference +1) while Cameroon has the same tally (Goal Difference 0). Mali trail the pack pointless.

Inform striker Mostafa Mohamed continued his outstanding tournament, adding a brace to his tally as he topped the goal scorers’ charts with four goals.

Mohamed, the talismanic striker broke the deadlock after 28 minutes, only for Eric Ayuk to equalize for Cameroon ten minutes later as the first half ended in a 1-1 draw.

But Mohamed continued his brace, securing maximum points for the Olympic Pharaohs with a trademark towering header six minutes after the break, to raise his side’s tally to nine points from three consecutive victories.

Ghana

Elsewhere at Al Salam Stadium, also in Cairo, Owusu Kwabena scored a brace for Ghana’s Black Meteors after the break as his side cruised into the semifinals, keeping their Tokyo 2020 Olympics dream alive.

Egypt takes on Group B runner ups on Tuesday (19 November), while Ghana face Group B winners in an earlier kickoff.

Total Man of the Match (Egypt v Cameroon): Mostafa Mohamed (Egypt)

Total Man of the Match (Ghana v Mali): Owusu Kwabena (Ghana)

What they said

Mostafa Mohamed (Total Man of the Match - Egypt v Cameroon)

Individual titles mean nothing to me. My focus is the team and what’s important is to reach next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Shawky Gharib (Coach, Egypt)

I’m extremely happy with my boys, and proud with the great support we had today. We won nothing yet, and the semifinal on Tuesday is the most important game in this generation’s history.

Rigobert Song (Coach, Cameroon)

We are disappointed fir sure, but we learnt a lot from this tournament. Egypt is a great team and I’m happy with the way we played against them.

Owusu Kwabena (Total Man of the Match – Ghana v Mali)

I thank our coach fir giving me the chance today. We qualified and that’s what matters most. Now we will play for one more victory to reach the Olympics.

Ibrahim Tanko (Coach, Ghana)

Few people expected us to qualify but we kept believing. Thanks to my players who had a great character today.

Fanyeri Diarra (Coach, Mali)

This is the end of a disappointing tournament for us. We lacked efficiency and deserved to lose.