AFCON round-up: Egypt and Ghana reach last four with narrow wins

Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah (C-R) celebrates with teammates after scoring
Image: Egypt will meet Burkina Faso in the semi-finals

Egypt will go head-to-head with Burkina Faso for a place in the final of the Africa Nations Cup after overcoming Morocco 1-0 in a tense quarter-final in Gabon.

The first opportunity fell to Egypt on 15 minutes when Ahmed Elmohamady's cross was met by Mahmoud Hassan but Trezeguet's shot was straight at the keeper.

Morocco came close to opening the scoring with 15 minutes left when striker Aziz Bouhaddouz saw his header saved on the line following a superb cross by Hamza Mendyl.

Two minutes later, Roma star Mohamed Salah went close at the other end but fired his shot straight at the keeper.

However, it was Egypt who eventually broke the deadlock three minutes from full-time when a corner whipped in from the left was poked home by midfielder Mahmoud Kahraba following a scramble in the six-yard box.

The result means a semi-final tie on Wednesday night where the Pharaohs will start as favourites to reach Sunday's final.

Andre Ayew celebrates Ghana's winner
Image: West Ham striker Andre Ayew celebrates Ghana's winner

In the earlier game, a late penalty from captain Andre Ayew clinched a 2-1 victory for Ghana over DR Congo and with it a meeting with Cameroon in the semi-finals.

Ghana came out after the interval showing more intent and, after carving out several half-chances, finally took the lead just after the hour thanks to a powerful shot from Aston Villa's Jordan Ayew.

The lead, however, lasted just five minutes for Ghana. DR Congo midfielder Chancel Mbemba took a short free-kick and the ball sat up perfectly for Paul-Jose M'Poku to curl a sensational strike into the top-right corner from outside the box.

Both teams found added momentum going into the final quarter and Ghana were fortunate not to be down to 10 men following a dangerous-looking tackle by centre-back Daniel Amartey, who received a yellow card.

The decisive moment came with 12 minutes left on the clock when DR Congo defender Lomalisa Mutambala brought down Newcastle's Ghanaian midfielder Christian Atsu in the penalty area and Andre Ayew stepped up to stroke the ball left-footed into the right corner of the goal.

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