Egypt 2-0 DR Congo
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Hosts Egypt sealed their spot in the knock-out stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday night.
The Pharaohs who are hot favourites for this year’s edition, defeated Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 2-0 at the Aciro International Stadium, to move top of Group A.
Liverpool star, Mohamed Salah stole the show with a goal and an assist on the night, his first of the tournament.
Egypt went ahead on 25 minutes when Salah’s cross was met by Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady, who finished at the second attempt.
Liverpool forward Salah then added a second two minutes to the break with a powerful strike when surrounded by two DR Congo players after a fine run from Mahmoud Trezeguet.
Congo who started with a much changed team from the one that lost by the same scoreline to Uganda created several chances but could not put them away in the end.
Seven-time winners Egypt now join Nigeria in the last 16 of the competition.
The Super Eagles defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the opening game on Wednesday to become the first nation into the knockout phase.
Egypt, who last won the tournament in 2010 and lost in the 2017 final, secured their second win in two matches to move on to six points and guarantee a top-two finish in Group A.
DR Congo hit the woodwork twice, through Marcel Tisserand when it was goalless and then again with a header from Jonathan Bolingi when Egypt were ahead 1-0.
Yannick Bolasie, who is an Everton player but spent last season on loan at Aston Villa and then at Anderlecht, nearly pulled a goal back late on but curled a free-kick just wide.
This was DR Congo’s second defeat in two games and they have to beat Zimbabwe on Sunday and hope they claim one of the four spots available to teams finishing third in their group.
Egypt had begun their campaign with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe and will go through as group winners if they avoid defeat against second-placed Uganda on Sunday.
In the other Group A game played on Wednesday, Uganda drew 1-1 with Zimbabwe.
The Cranes took the lead on 12 minutes with Emmanuel Okwi scoring his second goal of the tournament. Zimbabwe responded four minutes from the break, Khama Billiat doing them the honours.
Uganda are now second with four points and will join Egypt in the last 16 if they avoid defeat against the Pharaohs on Saturday.
For Zimbabwe, they need to defeat DR Congo in their last game to stand any chances of reaching the last 16.
The other Wednesday games
-Nigeria 1-0 Guinea
-Uganda 1-1 Zimbabwe
-Madagascar vs Burundi @5:30pm
-Senegal vs Algeria @8pm
-Kenya vs Tanzania @11pm