World: Africa Cup of Nations
2 - 2
(0 - 1)
O. Marmoush (69), M. Mohamed (74)
M. Kudus (45), M. Kudus (71)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Marmoush plays hero for Salah-less Egypt in 2-2 draw with Ghana

Eintracht Frankfurt striker Omar Marmoush came to the rescue of the Egyptian national team last night, scoring a crucial goal after talismanic winger Mohammed Salah succumbed to injury halfway through the team's second group stage fixture against Ghana. 

The African record champions maintain hope of attaining the tournament knockouts following a 2-2 draw against the Black Stars. 

In Thursday's other major AFCON match, neither Dortmund's Sebastian Haller nor Leverkusen's Odilon Kossounou featured for hosts Cote d'Ivoire in an Ivorian loss to Nigeria. 
Two nations off to disappointing starts in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations met in the 15th match of the 2023 tournament last night. Chris Hughton's Ghanaian Black Stars looked to rebound from an upset loss against Cape Verde in their opening group stage fixture while African record champions Egypt could only salvage a draw in a tournament opener that nearly saw them defeated by heavy underdogs Mozambique. A 2-2 draw between the two nations enables both countries to keep their hopes of attaining the knockouts alive, though the Egyptians will fancy their chances more after obtaining their second point.

Both head-coaches employed wholesale personnel changes in order to get their squads back on track. The adjustments had significant ramifications for the German club representatives on international duty for their respective sides. Following a disappointing performance in the Cape Verde match, HSV attacker Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer was dropped from the Chris Hughton's Ghanaian team entirely. Eintracht Frankfurt striker Omar Marmoush - not a part of Rui Vitoria's starting XI in the Mozambique fixture - inherited Mahmoud "Trézéguet" Hassan's place in the starting blocks.

The two sides mostly neutralized one another during a first-half played on an even keel. Shortly before it was time to head into the tunnel, however, the Egyptian pharaohs had to contend with a double whammy's worth of bad news. Ghanaian attacker Mohammed Kudus opened the scoring at 45+3. Shortly before that, Egyptian captain Mohamed Salah had to exit proceedings when problems with his calf left the Liverpool star unable to continue. Everything appeared to be working against the North Africans.

A robust effort from the Pharaohs to work their way back into the match after the restart led to several quality a chances and even a goal narrowly disallowed for offside. Marmoush - who recorded a total of four efforts on target - missed two big opportunities before finally scoring a goal that would count. The SGE forward pounced on a loose ball and impressively shook off his marker before slotting home the 1-1 in the 69th. The scoreline would not hold for long as Kudus completed a scorer's brace with the 2-1 two minutes later.

The Egyptians managed to find a quick answer for this too in the 74th when the subbed-on "Trézéguet" set up Mostafa Mohammed for the 2-2 in the 74th. Both teams traded chances amid a thrilling conclusion to the match over the final quarter-of-an-hour. Ghana looked more likely to snatch the winner, but were unable to convert. Marmoush got off one last effort in the Egyptian quest to snatch all three points, unfortunately sending a shot well wide in the 88th.

In other Bundesliga related AFCON news, Leverkusen central defender Odilon Kossounou once again remained on the bench for Cote d'Ivoire in the second group stage fixture contested by the host country. Just as was the case in the opener, Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller couldn't get fit in time to make the match-day squad. The hosting Elephants unfortunately failed to carry the momentum from their previous win and fell to West African rivals Nigeria 0-1.

In Wednesday's action, another match in which a Bundesliga AFCON representative had the chance to play for his country took place after Leverkusen's Amine Adli recorded an assist in Morocco's 3-0 win over Tanzania. VfB Stuttgart attacker Silas only made the briefest of appearances in Congo DR's 1-1 draw against Zambia. The 25-year-old stepped onto the pitch as a late time-killing substitution at 90+3.

Match days

Long reads

Exclusive interviews

Team News