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AFCON: Mo Salah claims hero status as he nets decisive penalty to send Egypt to quarter-finals

Mohamed Salah was the hero as the Liverpool forward kept alive hopes of Africa Cup of Nations glory with Egypt.s

Salah netted the decisive spot kick as the Pharaohs beat Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties following a tense goalless draw against Ivory Coast in their round of 16 clash on Wednesday in Cameroon.

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Manchester United defender Eric Bailly was the only player to miss when his effort was saved by substitute Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski.

Egypt, who had scored just twice during the group stage, were again largely uninspired, although Salah – who provided one of the goals – came close with one first-half effort.

Salah will now lead his side in their quarter-final clash with Morocco on Sunday, with Egypt still on course to face Sadio Mane and Senegal in the final.

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Mane was seemingly knocked unconscious shortly before scoring the opener in his country’s 2-0 win over Cape Verde on Tuesday and, although he was replaced shortly afterwards and taken to hospital for tests, he is believed likely to be fit for Sunday’s quarter-final.

Salah had spoken on Tuesday about how the Africa Cup of Nations was the one trophy he wanted to win more than any other.

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Egypt were knocked out in the round of 16 at the last AFCON in 2019 despite hosting the event, while they were runners-up to Cameroon two years previous.

Naby Keita was eliminated with Guinea earlier this week and is expected to return to Liverpool ahead of the FA Cup fourth round clash at home to Championship side Cardiff City on Sunday week.

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