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Africa: Africa Cup of Nations
(Pen: 4 - 5)
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Côte d'Ivoire

AFCON updates:
Marmoush advances while Kossounou, Haidara, and Samassekou are all eliminated

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

Both Wednesday round-of-16 fixtures at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations ended without regulation time goals. 

With Egypt (over Cote d'Ivoire) and Equatorial Guinea (over Mali) proving the 0-0 shootout victors, three Bundesliga representatives are headed back to Germany while only one advances to the tournament quarterfinals. 
Omar Marmoush.
Omar Marmoush.Photo: VfB Stuttgart
The Egyptian Pharaohs are through to the AFCON quarterfinals after besting Cote d'Ivoire 5-4 on penalties in a Wednesday round-of-16 fixture in Garoua.

Cote d'Ivoire trainer Patrice Beaumelle made just change to the XI that beat Algeria 3-1 convincingly on the final day of group stage play. As it so happened, the return of Manchester United central defender Eric Bailly from injury meant that Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Odilon Kossounou was relegated to the bend. Egyptian trainer Carlos Queiroz rotated in two new actors in midfield and defense respectfully. The top attacking axis of the 4-3-3 being unaffected meant that VfB Stuttgart striker Omar Marmoush started his fourth consecutive tournament match. 

It was Marmoush who had the first best opportunity , slamming a powerful effort of the crossbar in the 18th. Mohammed Salah quickly followed up with his own effort, but Ivorian keeper Badra Ali Sangaré stood tall. "Les Elephants" survived a period of Egyptian dominance to fight their own way back into the match shortly before halftime. Pharaoh keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy stopped worthy effort from Ibrahima Sangaré in the 37th and also parried a long-range volley from former Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sebastian Haller at 45+1. 

The chances kept coming after the restart, keeper Sangaré having to be very active to stop a peppering of Egyptian efforts between between the restart and the hour mark. Marmoush was subbed off for Mahmoud Ibrahiam "Trezeguet" Hassan of Aston Villa in the 71st. The Ivorians were the more productive team down the stretch. Keeper El-Shenawy made several key saves, even injuring himself with some late acrobatics that forced him to be subbed off in the 88th.

Despite the sweltering heat, the Egyptians were still able to generate a few chances in added extra time. The winning tally nevertheless never came and the match went to a shootout. Kossounou's replacement Bailly was the only Ivorian player to miss in the shootout. All five Egyptian players converted from the spot, with Salah dramatically clinching passage to the next round as the fifth and final player to step up.

In other Bundesliga-related AFCON news, two more Bundesliga representatives are headed back to Germany after their 0-0 shootout resulted in elimination. Equatorial Guinea took favored Mali all the way to penalties before prevailing in the sixth round. Hoffenheim midfielder Diadie Samassekou did not play due to an ankle injury. Leipzig's Amadou Haidara started, but did not partake in the shootout after being subbed off in the 108th. 

Haidara got his touches in during the extended shift. One of his three efforts on target (33rd) reached Equatoguinean keeper Jesus Ownono.

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